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Kumbha Mela and Simhastha Yatra at Trimbakeshwar
When Gods and Demons churned the ocean, along with diamonds, Amrit Kumbha (Urn containing Nectar) were recovered. Lord Indra's son Jayant was appointed to guard and deliver the same in heaven. He was helped by Sun , Moon, Saturn and Jupiter. On there way to heaven Gods were attacked 4 times by the evil spirited demons. Gods were successful in retaliating the attacks and placed the Kumbha on earth for each attack. The four places where the Kumbha was placed are Nasik, Haridwar, Prayag (Alhabad), Trimbakeshwar and Ujjain.
Kumbha Parva or Mela is celebrated according to the celestial alignment of zodiac signs,
with Jupiter, this is because Jupiter was in alignment with some signs at the time when Kumbha was plased at above said four places.
Kumbha mela is celebrated at only four above mentioned places. According to astrological studies kumbha Parva is connected with Kumbha Rashi, i.e. Aquarius and kumbha yoga. Also according to Vishnu Parva Kumbha Yoga are of four kinds:
In 2015 - 2016, Jupiter enters the zodiac sign of Leo, hence Trimbakeshwar will witness the Kumbha Parva.
सिंह गुरूज्ञतथा भानु चंद्रश्चंक्षयस्तथा । गोदावर्या भवेत्कुंभो जायतेsवनि मण्डले ।।
According to this Shloka(Mantra) every twelve years when Jupiter enters in Singh(Leo) Rashi (sign of zodiac), Simhastha Kumbha Mela starts.
Timings of Trimbakeshwar Sinhastha
Importance of place Sinhastha
These questions are backed by following quotes -
सिंहस्थे तु समायाते नचस्तीभीनी देवता । तिर्थ राजे कुशावर्ते स्नानुमायांति यत्नत: ।।
त्र्यंबकंक्षेम मेवात: तु विशिष्यते । यत्र गोदा सभुदभूता सर्व पाप प्रणाशिनी ।
According to Purana, origin of river Godavari has special importance because Gautami ganga was named Goda at Trimbakeshwar Kushawarta Tirtha. Goda means
'गौतमस्य' गां जीवन ददाति इति गोदा ।
This means cow of sages Gautam got her life and Sages Gautam was freed from the murder of a cow, as Gautam took bath at Kushawarta Tirtha, Gautami Ganga was named as Godavari (Sages Gautam stopped the flow of ganga with holi kusha (Darbha) and had holy bath.) Hence this place is named as Kushawarta.
There are twelve Jyotirlinga, out of these Trimbakeshwar is one of the most important place. This place is flooded with Akharas of Mahanta's The traditional bathing of naked sadhus is still followed at Kushawarta. During Simhastha Parva Period, origin of Godavari's Snan (bath) is repeatedly narrated in puranas. That is why during Singhastha Parva, origin of Godavari, Shri Kshetra Trimbakeshwar witnesses presence of thousands of Sadhus, Saints, Mahanta's, Mahamandeleshwar along with their deciples and followers. They enjoy the Snan(bath) at Kushawarta Tirtha hearitly and lakhs of travelers and religious human race enjoy Snan, Dan Shardha, Mudan etc. rituals in competition. Instead of Bank of Godavari, Origin of Godavari has special importance. For this importance here is Shastra Vachan.
मुळ मध्यावसानेशु गोदालभ्य कलीयुगे ।
This means three places of Godavari are more important, origin Trimbakeshwar ,intermediate Nanded (Marathwada) and followed by Rajmahendri(Andhra Pradesh). River Godavari meets the great ocean at Rajmahendri with seven faces.
The banks of river Godavari are holiest but the Kumbha Parva is not celebrated at Nasik. The celebration takes place at origin of river Godavari i.e. at Trimbakeshwar. Skand Puranas reference prove the above statement.
Maryada Purushottam, lord Rama was at Panchvati (Nasik) when he received the news of death of his father, King Dashratha. The religious rituals for the same was asked to be performed at Trimbakeshwar by muni Kashyapa reciting the following Shloka.
राम राम महाबाहो मदवाश्यम कुरू यत्नत: । सिंहस्थते सुरगुरी दुर्लेभम् गौतमी जलम ।
यत्रकुभापि राजेंद्र कुशावर्त विशेषत: । तव भाग्येन निकट वर्तने ब्रम्हभुधर ।
सिंहस्योपि समायातस्त ग्त्वा सुखी भव । यावद् भ्योंति सिंहस्थस्तावनिष्ट ममाशया ।
सिंहस्थे तु समावते राम कश्यप संभुत: । त्र्यंबकक्षेत्रमागाय तीर्थायात्रा चकार ।
The orders of Kashyapa was followed by Prabhu Rama. He went to Kushawarta Tirtha and performed the last rituals of his father Dashratha. Due to many reasons river Godavari's origin place, Trimbakeshwar has great importance during Simhastha to perform Yatra, religious rituals, mundane, Shardha etc.
Rights of Tirtha Vidhi (rituals)
The devotee should perform decided rituals at Kushawarta followed by prayer and bathing in ganga Godavari afterwards. They should donate a cow, piece of land, clothes, rice or wheat, jaggry, silver, salt etc. according to their might.