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Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Kumbh Mela: Thousands of devotees take holy dip in Godavari amid tight security arrangements
Two and half months long Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha Kumbh Mela have started today with Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis inaugurating the Mela in Nashik and Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh doing the same in Trimbakeshwar.

The largest congregation of faith in the country began with traditional flag hoisting, poojas. Tight security arrangements have been made at both the places. Thousands of devotees took a holy dip today in Godavari river at both the places.

When Guru (Jupiter) and the Sun are in the zodiac sign Leo(Simha Rashi), the Kumbh is celebrated in Trimbakeshwar, Nashik. The festival, known as the largest peaceful gathering, occurs once in 12 years as per Hindu calendar.

The festival will last for 58 days and will end on August 11. The dates for Shahi snan (royal bath) in Trimbakeshwar, when seers of various 'akharas' take dip in river in large numbers through procession, are August 29, September 13 and September 18.

Before the start of Kumbh Mela a grand 'shobha yatra' (processions) was taken out in both Nashik and Trimbakeshwar yesterday in which mahants and sadhus of various 'akhadas' participated.

Around 3 lakh sadhus are expected to visit Nashik during Kumbh. The Maharashtra government has approved the change in reservation of 58.48 acres of residential area in Tapovan, for the proposed Sadhugram, which would accommodate visiting sadhus for Kumbh.

Around 80 lakh to 1 crore people are expected to visit Nashik during the three auspicious days of 'Shahi Snan' and around 25-30 lakh pilgrims are expected to visit Trimbakeshwar.

Railways have deployed 12 super-fast special trains between Nashik Road and Howrah on account of Kumbh Mela to be celebrated in Nashik.

The story behind celebration of Kumbh Mela says that when Gods and demons were fighting over the nectar then Lord Vishnu flew away with the pot of nectar. During this drops of nectar fell at four places namely Hardwar, Nasik, Ujjain and Prayag where the Kumbh Mela is celebrated.

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