The Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad or ABAP is the apex organisation of Hindu Sadhus and Sants who work for the preservation of Hindu religion and culture,Seen together especially during the Kumbha Mela. Akharas in India literally means a wrestling ring in Hindi and followersof Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Adi Shankaracharya was the founder of seven major Indian Akharas known as Mahanirvani, Niranjani, Juna, Atal, Avahan, Agni and Anand Akhara.
There are 14 Akharas in India 13 are listed as below and further divided as Nirvani Ani,Digambar Ani and Nirmal Ani Akharas. These akahras are also known as Sanyasis and Bairagi Sadhus Akharas, the 14 one is the newest one but yet to find the name, please share if you know.
The Shaivite are followers of Lord Shiva also are known as Sanyasis, It has the largest numbers of Akharas as well as the sadhu, sants and Naga sadhus as well. Here is the seven Nirvani Ani Akharas.
The Digambar Ani includes three major Akharas and followers of Vaishnav or Lord Vishnu, also known as Bairagi Akharas, list of Digambar Ani Akharas are as below.
The Nirmal Ani also own’s three major Akharas,which are known as Udaseen Akhara or neutral Akharas, located mostly in Allahabad and Haridwar.
Akharas means a place of practice for Kushti, Indian martial arts and any religious practice by sadhus. The Naga sadhu in the various akhara of the Kumbha Mela are initiate the bathing rituals during the Kumbh Mela.