The Kumbha Mela is one of the oldest Hindu extravaganza where conglomerate of people visiting the holy place have been observed through out that year. A devotional and sacred celebration that is held once in 12 years. This religious gala is considered to be the largest peaceful gathering in the world with over 100 million people being present. With being celebrated in four major pilgrim cities it is experienced once in every four years by rotation. Haridwar, Ujjain, Nashik and Allahabad are the four centres around India where this carnival is observed.
In Nashik, Trimbakeshwar is the place where this godly festival is embarked. KUMBHA means ‘pitcher’ and MELA means ‘fair’ in Hindi. History states that Nashik has been one of those pious places where it is believed in Hinduism that the drops of nector fell from the kumbha carried by the Gods during their fight for the ownership of the jar with the Demons to attain immortality after the sea was churned. Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is held every six years at Haridwar and Prayag (Allahabad).The Purna (complete) Kumbh at every twelve years at four places Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik. The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela held after 12 ‘Purna Kumbh Melas’, or 144 years, is held at Allahabad. The rivers at these four places, the Ganga (Ganges) at Haridwar, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati at Allahabad, the Godavari at Nashik, and the Shipra at Ujjain. When Jupiter and the Sun are in the zodiac sign Leo (Sinha Rashi) it is held in Trimbakeshwar, Nashik hence also called as the “Sinhasta Kumbh Mela”.
The Mela is marked by millions of devotees bathing in river Godavari which is believed to purify all their sins leading to salvation. A ceremonial bath at a predetermined ‘samay’ (time) and ‘sthaan’ (place) is the most significant occurence of the festival which is called as ‘Shahi Snan’. Last Kumbha Mela held in Nashik was in the year 2003.
For the Sinhastha Kumbh Mela 2015, an amount of 200 crore from the government has been the requisition by the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) to acquire the land, but is uncertain if the entire amount will be authorized and also if the land would be sanctioned permanently. In the wake of the forthcoming Sinhastha Kumbh Mela to be held in 2015, the NMC has decided to shift 10 hutments that had shifted temporarily from the highway to the 54-acre Sadhugram at Tapovan earlier. The hutment dwellers will be included in the list of beneficiaries for the Nilgiri Baug housing society which has been constructed as part of the housing scheme for the urban poor under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
The Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has planned to purchase robotic equipment to remove silt, water hyacinth and other waste from the Godavari and two other rivers in the city. A senior NMC official said, “The pollution in the rivers and nallas in the jurisdiction of the NMC has become a major concern and it is difficult to clean rivers and nallas manually. There are three rivers in the NMC limits- Godavari, Nasardi and Valdevi. We need robotic machines to clean rivers continuously. The robotic machines will remove garbage, water hyacinth and other waste like nirmalya (prayer material). Hence, we are planning to purchase one robotic machine initially for the purpose. “Cleaning the Godavari is on top of our agenda in view of the Kumbh Mela”, he said.
Allowance of Rs. 4 crores has been granted by the high-power committee for the development works of the Mela which is a crore less than the amount proposed by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), Nashik.
The Nashik Kumbh Mela will Commence on 14th July, 2015 and will continue for a year ending on 11th August, 2016. The important dates and scheduling is mentioned in the table.
|14TH JULY||TUESDAY||Flag Hoisting of the main ceremony at Ram Kunda|
|14TH AUGUST||FRIDAY||Flag Hoisting of Akhara at Sadhugram|
|29TH AUGUST||SATURDAY||First Shahi-Snan|
|13TH SEPTEMBER||SUNDAY||Second Shahi-Snan|
|18TH SEPTEMBER||FRIDAY||Third Shahi-Snan|
On 11th August 2016 the Khubh Mela will end with flag lowering ceremony.