Culture & History — 03 September 2015

On the danger of taking selfies even during holy events!

This year’s Simhashta Kumbh Mela has been taking place since July in Nasik, Trimbashekwar, on the Godavari river in Maharashtra State. So far, three million people have participated in the pilgrimage, a number which will rise dramatically during the upcoming three specials days of ritual bathing in the sacred river.

Authorities decided to ban the taking of selfies during those three days and two “No Selfie Zones” marked by several signs have been set up due to fears that taking selfies will hold up the throngs of people wanting to take the dip and could cause pushing, panic and stampedes.

Nasik Kumbh Mela
No venue for mobile phones and selfies

Nasik is one of the oldest and deeply religious cities of India. The origin of the word Nasik (or Nashik) has two interesting features: In the Ramayana, this is the place where Lakshman is said to have cut off the nose – nasika of Shurpanakha, Ravana’s sister. The other relates to the geographical feature of the town, situated on the nine hills of navashikhara (Durga, Ganesh, Chitraghanta, Pandav, DingerAli, Mhasarul, Jogwada, Pathanpura and Konkani).

Nasik was known as Trikantak in Kritayuga, as Janasthana in Dwaparyuga and later in Kaliyuga it became Navashikh or Nasik. Renowned poets like Valmiki, Kalidas and Bhavabhooti have paid rich tributes to Nasik through their literature. Nasik is believed to have been one of the country’s largest market places in 150 BCE.

From 1487 CE, this province came under the rule of Mughals and was then known as Gulshanabad. It was also home of Emperor Akbar for some period and he has written at length about Nasik in Ein-e-Akbari.

It is believed that Lord Rama along with Sita and Laxmana spent 14 years of exile at Tapovan in Nasik. After the Mughals, Nasik came under the Peshwas, followed by British rule.

Bhagawati

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