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Second ‘shahi snan’ at Kumbh Mela passes off peacefully


Nashik: Braving sporadic heavy rain, lakhs of pilgrims took a holy dip during the second ‘shahi snan’ (royal bath) at the ongoing Simhastha Kumbh Mela in Nashik-Trimbakeshwar here since Sunday morning, officials said.

The ‘shahi snan’, which began at 4 a.m. on Sunday at Ram Kund, saw the presence of pilgrims in large numbers from Gujarat, northern state and other parts of the country who gathered at the Ram Kund, Ram Ghats and other bathing venues.

The event kicked off with colourful ‘royal processions’ by thousands of holy men and religious leaders assembled here, to the Ram Kund at Nashik and in Trimbakeshwar, and then a holy dip, early on Sunday.

The police made elaborate security arrangements, but partially relaxed the barricading arrangements that kept away the crowds, both locals and tourist, during the first ‘shahi snan’ on August 29 and attracted widespread criticism.

With the ease in restrictions, huge crowds of tourists and pilgrims descended on the city from surrounding districts as well as other parts of India and abroad.

The third and final ‘shahi snan’ is scheduled at Nashik on September 18 and at Trimbakeshwar on September 25 before the current Simhastha Kumbh Mela begins winding up.


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Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to start conservation work for the 17th century Sundarnarayan Temple

Sundarnarayan Temple at Nashik in Maharashtra, India, Wikimedia

Nashik, May 8, 2017: The conservation work for the 17th century Sundarnarayan Temple will soon be initiated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

In July 2015, the Aurangabad unit of ASI had started chemical conservation work after seeking permission for structural conservation. But realizing that removing the vegetation and chemically conserving the temple would not be sufficient because of the cracks in the stones which may loosen or give away in a couple of years, the team wrote to the district collector and the state archaeological department (Nashik branch) about the need for the temple’s structural conservation. Now, the work will be done in phases.

Shrikant Gharpure, Assistant Director of the Department of Archaeology, Maharashtra has recently said to TOI, “We will soon start with the first phase of the conservation. The superstructure (dome) will be dismantled step by step.”

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On July 13, administrative approval of Rs 4.51 crore and financial nod of Rs 2.50 crore has been given for the conservation.

Constructed in 1756 by “Sardar of Peshwas”, Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud, the Sundarnarayan temple is the crowning example of undying faith and everlasting devotion. One unique aspect of the temple is that it is built at such an angle,  that on 21st March, rays of the rising Sun first fall exactly upon the idols.
The superstructure is around 50-55 feet in height and needs immediate attention. “There will be no difference in the size,” said Gharpure.

The decoration, artwork, floral parts, carvings of gods and goddesses will be prepared in the same manner like the original one. It is made of basalt and black stone and faces the Godavari River. In its sanctum sanctorum, there are idols of deities such as Vishnu, Laxmi and Vrinda. Besides, it also house idols of other gods and goddesses. The raw material and stone will be brought from Deglur, Nanded and the lime to be brought from Gujarat.

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Gharpure also said, “the temple is at the centre of the city near Raviwar Karanja. We noticed that it had become dangerous and had to be restored to its original form immediately. In July last year, I met state cultural minister Vinod Tawde and told him about the situation. I have been following up the issue.”

It is furthermore estimated that the conservation work will take about two years to finish.

– prepared by Himanshi Goyal of Newsgram. Twitter handle- @Himanshi1104

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Kumbh Mela: One of the greatest Pilgrimages in the World

Millions of Hindu pilgrims come either in groups or individually and celebrate the event with great enthusiasm

Kumbh Mela Image: Wikimedia Commons

By Pashchiema Bhatia

Kumbh Mela (‘Kumbh’ means pitcher and ‘Mela’ means fair in Hindi) is hosted in four cities – Ujjain, Allahabad, Haridwar and Nasik and held every third year at one of the four places by rotation. According to Hindu legend, during samudra manthan (churning sea to separate nectar and poison), Gods and demons were having fight over the nectar and then Lord Vishnu flew away with the pot of nectar spilling drops of nectar at four different places; where we celebrate Kumbh Melas. It is considered as one of the largest religious gathering where millions of people arrive and bathe in the sacred rivers – The Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar, the confluence (Triveni Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati at Allahabad, the Godavari at Nasik and the Shipra at Ujjain. Millions of Hindu pilgrims come either in groups or individually and celebrate the event with great enthusiasm.

Bathing Ghats Of Ganga Image: Wikimedia Commons
Bathing Ghats Of Ganga Image: Wikimedia Commons
  • Ujjain, an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, is located on the eastern bank of the Shipra River. It is considered as one of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) of the Hindus. People believe that taking a royal bath in sacred Shipra River on the occasion of Kumbh Mela washes all the sins of previous births and hence the pilgrims consider it as an opportunity to get them revived from the never ending birth cycle. The Kumbh Mela hosted at Ujjain is known as ‘Simhastha Kumbh Mela’. (22 April 2016 – 21 May 2016)
Ram Ghat, Ujjain Image: Wikimedia Commons
Ram Ghat, Ujjain Image: Wikimedia Commons
  • Allahabad Magh (Kumbh) Mela is held every year on the banks of Triveni Sangam (the confluence of the three great rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Prayag near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. The Magh Mela is also referred as Mini Kumbh Mela as it is actually a smaller version of Kumbh Mela.

   Also Read: Dismantling Hinduism: Is Kumbh Mela next in line?

  • Haridwar is considered as one of the most sacred places in India and it is situated at the feet of Shiva’s hills; Shivaliks. Millions of devotees take dips in bone-chilling cold weather of holy Ganga at the occasion of Ardh Kumbh Mela.
Har ki Paudi Ganga Image: Wikimedia Commons
Har ki Paudi Ganga Image: Wikimedia Commons
  • Kumbh Mela in Nasik (Trimbakeshwar) is celebrated once in every twelve years and is known as Sinhasta. The Kumbh Mela is marked by millions of devotees’ plunging into the river Godavari that is believed to cleanse their souls leading to salvation.
  • The Simhastha Kumbh Mela at Ujjain is currently on-going. The first Snan (Bathe) on April 22 marked the beginning of the event and the last Snan is scheduled for 21 May on the day of Purnima (Full Moon Night).

Watch This Video to know more about what is happening in the 2016 Kumbh Mela in Ujjain:

Pashchiema is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema

3 responses to “Kumbh Mela: One of the greatest Pilgrimages in the World”

  1. One of the most prestigious event organised in Hindu community. People from all over the world should come and take a dip into the beautiful ambiance of this festival.

  2. Millions of people participate in this event and bath in sacred river to wash away their sins.

  3. One of the holiest event organised by the Hindu community which invites people around the world to come and wash away their sins

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Nashik’s sacred pond dries for the first time in 130 years

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Water scarcity in Maharashtra has left Nashik’s sacred Ramkund pond dry for the first time in 130 years.

Thousands of pilgrims expected to converge in Ramkund for a holy dip on Gudi Padwa on April 8 would be unable to do so.

“Tomorrow, (Friday) on the occasion of the auspicious Gudi Padwa, thousands of pilgrims expected to turn up at Ramkund will not be able to take the holy dip, at least till July-end,” Nashik Municipal Corporation’s Deputy Mayor Gurmeet Bagga told IANS.

The cemented Ramkund has now become a playground for children who play cricket and football there, Bagga said.

The civic body seems to have run out of options available to replenish the water in the holy reservoir in the river bed.

It is now toying with the idea of digging borewells on the river banks in a bid to replenish the Ramkund – which is also the main pilgrimage centre during the Kumbh Mela. However, the project depends on several factors, including religious sentiments and cost.

Besides, there is no guarantee that borewells will be a solution to the problem since the groundwater table in the district has plummeted, Bagga said.

The Purohit Sangh has now appealed to the Nashik Municipal Corporation authorities to arrange water to enable the priests and the faithfuls to perform the basic religious rituals on Friday.

The priests have suggested alternative water arrangements be made from some nearby reservoir to fill the Ramkund enough to facilitate the holy dips, but authorities are yet to respond.

At present, Bagga said, the corporation was supplying around 100 litres per head per day (LPHPD) to Nashik residents as against the national norm of 130 LPHPD, and soon this will dip to around 80 LPHPD due to acute water scarcity.

“Our target is to conserve water till the third week of July when heavy rains start and continue till mid-August to replenish the water bodies,” Bagga said.

Meanwhile, water scarcity has severely hit trade as well as summer tourism in the district. Several farmers have committed suicide in the state due to severe drought. (IANS)