Nashik: Thousands of devotees took a holy dip in the Godavari river in first ‘shahi snan’ of the ongoing Kumbh Mela on Saturday. Among the devotees who took the holy dip included ‘mahants’ of various akhadas.
The first akhada to take the holy dip was the Nirvani akhada, led by its mahant Gyandas Maharaj, who is also the president of the All India Akhada Parishad, who performed the ritual along with other ‘sadhus’ and ‘mahants’ at 7.15 AM on Saturday.
Earlier, the royal processions of the Vaishnava sect, comprising mahants and mahamandleshwars atop vehicles, horses and camels decorated with flowers, which began from the Laxminarayan Temple in Tapovan here, reached the Ram kund wielding flags, swords, trishul, etc, amid beating of drums.
The NMC and several social organisations have provided swimming experts at the Ram Kund to assist the people taking the dip. A life protection squad has also been deployed in the river water to prevent any drowning incident.