Festivities mark Kumbh's first shahi snan

Last Updated 29 August 2015, 19:23 IST

Religious festivities and offerings marked the first ‘shahi-snan’ of the ongoing Simhastha Kumbh Mela in Nashik.

Common people took dips in the Godavari River at Kushavrat Tirth in Trimbakeshwar and Ramkund in Nashik city after the saints, including the naga sadhus. Celebrities also paid visits temples in Ramkund, which is home to over 100 of them located on the periphery of the Godavari. While chants of ‘Siya Ramchandra Ki Jai’, ‘Bhakt Hanuman Ki Jai’, ‘Lakhanlal ki Jai’, ‘Ram Laxman Janki, filled the air in Nashik city, in Trimbakeshwar, they were ‘Har Har Mahadev’ and ‘Bam Bam Bhole’.

Besides Lord Shiva, the trio of Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman had spent some years during their exile here, it is said.

This Kumbh is also unique as Shaiva and Vaishnav akhadas, which bath together at Prayag, Haridwar and Ujjain, bath separately here.

The three wings of the Vaishnav akhadas are Shree Nirmohi Aai Akhada, Shree Nirvani Akhada and Shree Digambar Akhada.

Sadhvi Shri Trikal Bhavanta Maharaj, founder of the Shri Sarveshwar Mahadeo Vaikunthdham Muktidwar Akhada Pari in Allahabad, boycotted the ‘shahi snan’ alleging gender discrimination.  Over the last couple of months, she has been pushing the Maharashtra administration and Mahant Gyandas , the president of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad, seeking separate bath timings for the women sadhvis of her akhada.

The turnout at Trimbakeshwar and Nashik at the first ‘shahi snan’  of the ongoing Simhastha Kumbh Mela was much lower than estimated by the authorities.  In July, the Nashik district administration, the Nashik and Trimbakeshwar civic authorities had estimated footfalls between 80 lakh and 1 crore at the shahi-snan venues but not more than 10 lakh people did eventually turn up. The numbers even did not touch the revised estimate of 20-25 lakh.

(Published 29 August 2015, 19:23 IST)

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