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Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015 Travel Guide

Sage playing the conch in Nashik Kumbh Mela

The largest human gathering on earth, Kumbh Mela is known to be one of the most sacred Hindu festivals. Nashik Kumbh Mela is one of its faces and is celebrated over a period of 12 years on the banks of Godavari river.

Precisely, the celebrations of this extravaganza take place at the origins of the sacred Godavari river, Trimbakeshwar district in Nashik, Maharashtra. In an attempt to delve completely into the spiritual flow of the Kumbh festival, pilgrims and tourists in figures of millions, flock to this part of the globe. The main essence of the festival is the dip in the holy waters, which Hindus believe washes away all the sins of this mortal world.

Highly fascinating is the sight of saffron clad or the naked ‘Sadhus’. As per Hindu traditions, Nashik Kumbh Mela invites 14 sects of Sadhus, known as Akharas. Out of these 14, 11 are Lord Shiva followers, including the fully naked Naga Sadhus, while the other 3 sects are dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Significance of Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015

Hindy mythology describes the origins of Nashik Kumbh Mela somewhat like this. Lord Brahma, creator of the Universe once advised Gods to perform the task of churning of the ocean, in order to obtain nectar, which will make them rid of their weaknesses. They soon realized it’s a tough task, so sought help from the demons, on the pretext of giving the other half of the nectar to them.

When the churning resulted into the extraction of a nectar pot, the Gods did not keep their promise and ran away with it. On seeing their pact being broken by the Gods, demons got furious and started a chase on them. The chase continued for 12 days and nights all around the globe, and in all this, few drops of the precious nectar got sprinkled at four places in India. These places in the modern world are known as Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nashik. To commemorate this mythological event, Hindus celebrate this festival in their respective times.

The festival of Kumbh in Nashik is divided into various dates which are considered highly auspicious. These dates or events are scheduled as per the positions of the moon, Jupiter and sun. Unlike the other Kumbh festivals in India, Kumbh Mela in Nashik falls partially during the Hindu month of Shravan (Lord Shiva) and Bhadrapada (Lord Vishnu).

Therefore, the proceedings differ a little. On the last day of the month of Shravana, falls ‘Purnima’ (full moon), and Hindus go by the belief of offering water to Lord Shiva on this day as it is considered very auspicious.

On the other hand, a no moon night or ‘Amavasaya’ in the month of Bhadrapad, a holy dip in the sacred river is something that every Hindu pilgrim looks for.            

Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015 Dates

Devotees Taking A holy dip during Kumbh Mela festival.

Before attending the sacred Nashik Kumbh Mela, it is good to know about the dates and schedule. These are listed as follows :
  • July 14,2015 : Flag hoisting ceremony of the Kumbh takes place on this day. In other words, it marks the beginning of this sacred festival.
  • August 9, 2015 : This is the day when the lifeline of the Kumbh, the ‘Sadhus’ take the center stage. On this date, flag hoisting ceremony of the various Akharas (sects) at Sadhugram takes place.
  • August 26, 2015 : Day of the first Snan/bath, also known as ‘Shravan Pratham’  
  • August 29, 2015 : Shravan Purnima (First Shahi Snan/Royal Bath)
  • September 13, 2015 : September marks the beginning of the month of Bhadrapada. And on this date, the second Shahi Snan/Royal Bath and main bathing day take place. Hindu traditions name this date as Bhadrapad Amavasya.
  • September 18, 2015 : Third Shahi Snan/Royal Bath, known as Bhadrapad Rishi Panchami.
  • September 25, 2015 : Bhadrapad Shukla Tritiya.

Bathing Ritual During the Main Day 

Most important day (13 September 2015)  of the Nashik Kumbh Mela is characterized by a bathing ritual that starts with the sunrise and continues all day long. People from all walks of life take part in this large scale ritual, whereas the different sects of ‘Sadhus’ indulge in the spiritual bath as per their set order and time.  

How to Reach Nashik Kumbh Mela

Nashik in the state of Maharashtra is very well connected to the major cities of the state. It is around 180 km from Mumbai and 220 km from the city of Pune. The city has an extensive system of transport that connects with both of these important cities.

Reach by Air :

Nashik does not have a fully functional airport yet. Thus, in order to reach the Kumbh festival, one can make use of Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai. CST is an international airport and it operates regular flights from all over the globe.

Reach by Rail :

Nashik railway station, which is one of the most important junctions of central railway is 38 km (approx) from the site of the Kumbh Mela. Being a major rail route junction, it frequently operates trains from the various parts of India.

Reach by Road :  

The city of Pune also is fairly close to Mumbai and Pune. Thus, travelling here via road is no such problem. Private and State government buses regularly run between these cities.

Things to be Kept in Mind

Nashik Kumbh festival takes place during the time of monsoons. As the city falls in a highly wet zone of India, heavy rainfall is expected throughout the season. Thus, it is advised one must keep a check on the accommodations and necessary items. 

And, if you are planning to camp on site, then you may check-out the Price Guide for Nashik kumbh mela 2015 to make sure your journey to visit "Aastha ka Kumbh".