Hinduism - What Is Atala Akhara? | KIRAN ATMA

Hinduism - What Is Atala Akhara?



The name of a subdivision of the Dashanami Sanyasis' Naga class, which is a kind of renunciant ascetic. 


  • The Dashanami Nagas are Shiva worshippers (bhakta) who are divided into various akharas, or regiments, based on an army concept. 
  • The Nagas were renowned as mercenary warriors until the early nineteenth century, but they also had significant trade interests; both of these professions have virtually vanished in modern times. 


The Atala Akhara has long been regarded a subordinate of the Mahanirvani Akhara, at least in terms of marching order in the Kumbha Mela bathing (snana) processions. 


The Atala akhara requested to be separated from the Mahanirvanis and permitted to march in their own procession during the 1998 Haridwar Kumbha Mela; when this request was denied, the Atala akhara boycotted the bathing processions in protest. 


  • Although it is currently the smallest and least significant of the seven major Dashanami Naga akharas, the Atala akhara is one of the seven main Dashanami Naga akharas. 
  • All of the akharas have distinct characteristics that establish their organizational identity, particularly unique guardian deities; the god Ganesh is the guardian deity of the Atala akara.


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