HENB | Nashik | Jul 14, 2015:: The holy Simhastha Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation of faith in the world, began today with the traditional ceremony of hoisting of flags and thousands of people taking a holy dip in Kushawart andRamkund in Godavari river in the two towns.
In Trimbakeshwar, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and state Women and Child Welfare minister Pankaja Munde presided over the ceremony as chief guests while Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis presided at the Nashik ceremony.
The inaugural was marked with poojas, hymns and traditional flag hoisting at both venues amidst tight security.
Fadnavis hoisted the flag in Nashik while Singh did the honours in Trimbakeshwar, both on the banks of the Godavari River, around 45 kms apart.
The festival, known as the largest peaceful gathering, occurs once in 12 years as per Hindu calendar and is marked by participation of ‘sadhus’ from different denominations (akhadas), and lakhs of devotees. Kumbh is also known for the religious pomp and colourful processions.
The festival will last for 58 days till August 11. “This is not a common dip but the dip of immense faith which washes away all the evils and brings good luck,” said Jayant Shikhre, chairman of Trimbakeshwar Purohit Sangh.
On the occasion of flag-hoisting at Trimbakeshwar, a Naval chopper showered rose petals on the sea of humanity that has gathered for the mega event.
After the ceremony, thousands of people who have come to Nashik from different parts of the country took a dip at Kushavart teerth (pond) located near the temple of Lord Shiva.
The dates for shahi snan (royal bath), when seers of various ‘akharas’ take dip in river in large numbers through procession, in Trimbakeshwar are August 29, September 13 and 25. Nearly three lakh seers are expected to be in Nashik and Trimbakeshwar for the religious jamboree.
Nasik Kumbh Mela Schedule of Events 14th July 2015 (Tuesday): Flag hoisting of the main ceremony at Ram Kunda 14th August 2015 (Friday): Flag hoisting of the Akhara at Sadhugram 26th August 2015 (Wednesday): Shravan Shudha- First Snan 29th August 2015 (Saturday): Shravan Purnima – First Shahi Snan at Ram Kunda 13th September 2015 (Sunday): Bhadrapad Amavasya – Second Shahi Snan/ Main bathing day 18th September 2015 (Friday): Bhadrapad Shukla Panchmi (Rushipanchami) – Third Shahi Snan 25th September 2015 (Friday): Bhadrapad Shukla Dwadashi – Vaman Dwadashi Snan
Around 80 lakh to one crore people are expected to be in Nashik during the three auspicious days of ‘Shahi Snan’ and around 25-30 lakh in Trimbakeshwar.
Nashik-Trimbakeshwar host Kumbh Mela when the Sun and Jupiter come together in Leo (‘Simha’) zodiac sign in the month of Magh as per the Hindu calender.
Security has been strengthened for the event in both the towns while the district administration has laid new roads for the movement of pilgrims going towards the river and those returning after the holy dip.
Additional ‘ghats’ have been built to avoid crowding at Ramkund in Nashik.
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 (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.
Various Dharmik (righteous: commonly known as religious) organisations like Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Ramakrishna Mission, Art of Living, Yog Vedanta Samiti, Geeta Press, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and others are taking part in this huge Hindu congregation to preach Dharma Samaskara (righteousness) in the public and to propagate Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation-State) in Bharat within 2023.
In this natural Hindu Unity Platform of Kumbh Mela, VHP may raise their movement again for Construction of Ayodhya Ramjanmabhoomi Temple, Total ban on Cow slaughter, Complete ban on Conversion, Imposition of Common Civil code in India and Declaration of Hindu Rashtra in Bharat as universal demands and common minimum programmes for all Hindus and Hindu organisations accordingly.