NASHIK: Thousands of seers and saints of Shaiva and Vaishnav sects took 'shahi snan' (royal bath) this morning in the sacred Kushavarta and Ramkunda ponds in Trimbakeshwar and Nashik on the second auspicious day of the ongoing Kumbh mela.
The sadhus of Niranjani Akhada and others arrived at the Kushavarta pond in Trimbakeshwar in a grand royal procession and performed puja of their deity, followed by a holy dip in the pond. Later, the sadhus went to the historic Shiva temple for a darshan before returning to their respective Akhadas.
At Ramkunda pond in Nashik, the seers of Nirmohi Akhada arrived first in a grand procession from Tapovan's Laxminarayan temple for the bath, followed by saints of Nirwani and Digambar Akhadas. Lakhs of pilgrims from different parts of the country thronged Trimbakeshwar since midnight. Elaborate security arrangements have been made by deploying extra police force, District Superintendent of Police Sanjay Mohite said.
All the river ghats were opened for people since morning while pilgrims were allowed at Ramkunda after noon. The holy dip will continue throughout the day as in comparison to the first 'paravani' or the auspicious day on August 29, more pilgrims are seen participating in the second 'paravani'.
Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who is also the Guardian Minister of Nashik, Minister of State for Cooperation Dada Bhuse, top police officials, Mayor Ashok Murtadak, Nashik Municipal Corporation Commissioner Praveen Gedam and Collector Dipendrasinh Kushwaha were keeping a close watch on the situation.