Allahabad: Lending a whiff of glamour to an otherwise solemn and austere affair, Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty and NRI business tycoon Srichand Hinduja paid a surprise visit in Allahabad on Monday evening on the inaugural day of the Maha Kumbh congregation.

Shetty, along with her parents, and Hinduja who was accompanied by some family members, took part in a special prayer organised at the camp of Swami Chidananda Saraswati, founder of Rishikesh-based spiritual organisation Parmarth Niketan.

Sources in the Parmarth Niketan said the Swami had organised the prayer, with a view to raising awareness about rising pollution in the Ganga, at his camp in Arail on the outskirts of the city overlooking the holy Sangam where millions of devotees and ascetics of various orders have been taking a dip on the occasion of Makar Sankranti since early morning.

The 55-day-long congregation is likely to attract many celebrities in the days to come. Spiritual figures like the Dalai Lama, Yoga guru Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishankar and Asaram Bapu are likely to hold their discourses in the next few weeks.

Besides, star couple Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna and Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta Jones have reportedly planned their visits to the 12-yearly Maha Kumbh which has been catching the imagination of people world over.


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