Kumbh Mela begins in Nashik


The greatest of all Hindu fairs in India, Kumbh Mela witnesses the largest religious gathering in the history of the country. Held every third year at one of the four chosen sacred destinations, Kumbh Mela exhibits the impeccable faith nurtured in India. A large congregation of sages and saints of 14 Akharas; their royal bath into the sacred waters, swarming up of Hindu devotees from all parts of the world and the historical significance are the highlights of this grandest of all fairs in the country. Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming Kumbh Mela 2015 to be held in Nashik.

Sadhus and pilgrims in their thousands are pouring in Nashik as the Simhastha Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious congregations on the Earth, started from Tuesday.

The mega event, where lakhs of pilgrims would take dip in the river Godavari, started with a flag-hoisting ceremony organised by Nashik Ganga Godavari Panchkothi Purohit Sangh and Trimbakeshwar Purohit Sangh at 6.16 am at Ramkunda in Nashik city and at Kushvarta Teerth in neighbouring temple town of Trimbakeshwar, respectively.

Nashik-Trimbakeshwar hosts Kumbh Mela when the Sun and Jupiter come together in Leo (‘Simha’) zodiac sign in the month of Magha as per the Hindu calendar after every 12 years, said Satish Shukla, President of Nashik and Trimbakeshwar Purohit Sangh, and Jayant Shikhare, president of Trimbakeshwar Purohit Sangh.

Ahead of the Kumbh Mela, grand ‘shobha yatras’ (processions) were taken out in both Nashik and Trimbakeshwar on Monday, in which mahants and sadhus of various ‘akhadas’ participated.

The flags of the event were hoisted today morning in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis and Union Minister Shripad Naik in Nashik.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the chief guest for flag-hoisting in Trimbakeshwar.

The civic body has set up ‘Sadhu-Gram’ over 315 acres in Nashik where tents have been put up for sadhus. The temporary tent-town has been supplied with toilets, 24-hour drinking water, LPG cylinders and electricity.

The high-point of the gathering, ‘Shahi Snan’ (royal bath) has been scheduled for ‘Parvani’ days of August 29, September 13 and September 18 in Nashik. In Trimbakeshwar, the royal procession and bath would take place on August 29, September 13 and September 25.

While the Nashik sahdu-gram mainly houses the followers of Vaishnav sects and Nirmohi, Nirwani and Digambar akhadas, Trimbakeshwar is home for those from Shaiva sect, including Naga sadhus.

This segregation, it is believed, was ordered by the Peshwa rulers after a fierce clash between followers of two sects led to death of thousands of Sadhus during a Kumbh Mela in the late 18th century.

Nashik Collector Dipendrasinh Kushwah said the administration had fully geared up for the Kumbh Mela. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation has provided 3,000 special buses for the occasion.

Police have done a micro-planning for security, especially for avoiding stampedes in the two cities and on the banks of Godavari which originates near Trimbakeshwar. A stampede had marred the Kumbh Mela here last time.

Around 15,000 policemen would be deployed on ‘Parvani’ days.

Top government officers, including City Police Commissioner S Jagannathan and Superintendent of Police Sanjay Mohite are keeping a close watch on the security arrangements.

New roads have been laid for movement of pilgrims going towards the river and those returning after the holy dip.

Additional ‘ghats’ have been built to avoid crowding at Ramkunda here.

The city police has also set up a control room equipped with CCTVs. As many as 1,700 loud speakers have been installed across the city and connected to public address system installed in control room.

The buses provided by MSRTC would also carry community radios which would announce instructions for the pilgrims.

Kumbh Mela is held at Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nashik and Ujjain. According to the Hindu mythology, the drops of nectar fell from the ‘kumbha’ (pitcher) carried by gods (produced after the sea was churned) at these four places, and bathing in the river in these places during this period is considered to ‘cleanse’ all the sins.

 Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015:

The upcoming Kumbh Mela in India will take place in Nashik, Maharashtra. The Kumbh Mela in Nashik will take place in the Hindu months of Shravan and Bhadrapada. Shravan is believed to be dedicated to Lord Shiva and considered holy.  This event will be called Maha Kumbh and the devotees will have the opportunity to take a holy dip in the water of River Godavari. The dates and timings for the Kumbh Mela is fixed according to the astronomy; it is believed when Guru (Jupiter) and the Sun are in the zodiac sign Leo (Simha Rashi); the Kumbh has to be celebrated in Trimbakeshwar, Nasik. The fair will take place between July 14 and September 25, 2015.

Important Dates of Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015:

Date Day Event
14th  July 2015 Tuesday Flag hoisting of the main ceremony at Ram Kunda
14th  August 2015 Friday Flag hoisting of the Akhara at Sadhugram
29th  August 2015 Saturday (Shravan Purnima) First Shahi Snan
13th  September 2015 Sunday (Bhadrapad Amavasya) Second Shahi Snan
18th  September 2015 Friday Third Shahi Snan

Venue of Nashik Kumbh Mela:

The important events are likely to be held at Kushvarta Kund and Ramkund.  Kushvarta Kund is believed to be the symbolic origin point of River Godavari (around 30kms from Nashik City). It is where the devotees of Lord Shiva shall be taking bath, whereas, Ramkund will be the venue for Lord Vishnu’s devotees to take holy dips.  It is believed that Ramkund is the place where Lord Ram bathed during his exile; also he performed the death rituals of his father here.

Royal Bath and Holy Dip Timings:

The sages from 14 Akharas get the privilege of taking the bath first during the Kumbh Mela. Royal Bath or Shahi Snan as it is dubbed; begins from the time of sunrise with processions paving its way to the bathing area. After the sadhus from all 14 Akharas take their bath, the general people are allowed to take holy dips in the water.

Accommodation Arrangements in Nashik:

Special camps are available for the visitors in Nashik. Accommodation is also provided in cottages that vary in tariff rates. Cultural shows and yoga classes are also organized by many camps and resorts for the guests.