In the ongoing Kumbh Mela at Nasik and Tryambakeshwar, the traditional first Shahi Snan (majestic bath) took place on the morning of Aug 29, followed by a large number of devotees taking holy dip in Godawari river. Today’s first Shahi Snan began early morning and various ‘akhadas’, namely, Digambar, Nirmohi and Nirvani of Vaishnava Sampradaya led by their respective Mahant, Mahamandaleshwar and sadhus in thousands thronged Tryambakeshwar. The Mahants and sadhus of as many as 10 ‘akhadas’ of Shaiv Sampradaya also assembled for Shahi Snan at Tryambakeshwar, 30 kilo metres from Nasik.
The Shahi Snan started at about 5 am, and different timings were fixed for different ‘akhadas’. The Shahi procession started from Laxminarayan Mandir, Tapovan. Digambar akhada started its procession at 4 am. Nirvani akhada started its procession at 6 am while Nirmohi akhada started its procession at 7 am and reached Ramkund by 8 am, and so did other akhadas.
It may be noted that as per tradition the Shahi Snan is first performed by all Mahants, sadhus and saints of various sects, no civilian is allowed to enter the vicinity for taking holy dip before them. It is only after their taking holy dip others are allowed. The entire city of Nasik has been turned into a cantonment with 15,000 security personnel posted to maintain well beefed up security. They include special forces and ATS with 10 squads, anti-bomb squads with 12 teams and hundreds of disaster management personnel.
Keeping Shahi Snan in view, all roads and streets leading to Godawari river were sealed within the area of 3.5 kms, and no vehicles allowed. Certain vital points have been provided for the facility of citizens.