NASHIK: The Shree Ganga Godavari Temple at Ramkund on Tuesday threw open its doors after 12 years to coincide with the Simhastha Kumbh Mela 2015 which has begun in the twin pilgrim centres of Nashik and Trimbakeshwar in Maharashtra.
Thousands made a beeline for the temple, on the banks of the Godavari river, since early morning for prayers.
Dedicated to Goddess Godavari, temple priest S.W. Jadhav led the morning prayers.
"This is the only temple which opens to coincide with the 12-year Kumbh Mela cycle in Nashik. When it is closed for another 12 years, people pray from outside," Jadhav told the media and pilgrims.
Besides the Shree Ganga Godavari Temple, there are a total of 108 temples in and around Ramkund, making it one of the holiests Hindu sites in the country.
Ramkund is associated with Lord Shiva, and the Kapaleshwar Temple here is said to be the only temple in the country without an idol of Nandi.
"If you bathe at Ramkund, you will be relieved from the Brahma-hatya," Nandi is believed to have advised Lord Shiva. So, the god took him as one of his gurus. Hence, there is no idol of Nandi.
Ramkund is also where Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman are believed to have spent a few years during their 14-year long exile. Around eight kilometres away is the birthplace of Lord Hanuman in Anjaneri hills.