Shahi Snan is the holy bath taken by the saints and their disciples and the members of the Akhadas in the holy river during the prescribed time at the start of Khumb Mela and on the other Royal bath marked hrs.
It is said that following the churning of ocean by gods and demons, the pot of nectar emerged. There was a stiff fight between both the parties to grab the pot. Meanwhile to safeguard the pot, Garuda, the celestial eagle transported the pot of nectar. Nectar dropped in four places including Haridwar, Prayagraj, Nashik and Ujjain. The event of Shahi Snan is said to give the blessed characteristics of the holy rivers in these places due to acquiring the nectar of immortality to those who bathe during the scheduled time.
During the event of Shahi Snan, the ascetics were given priority and importance over the others and common people. This tradition continues to this day. Shahi snan is the central highlight of Khumbh Mela and the most important part of the celebrations. Only after the Shahi Snan, the common people are allowed to take bath.