Five lakh devotees pay homage at ''Trimbakeshwar''

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Nashik, Feb 4 (UNI) Braving severe cold, more than five lakh devotees, including women and children, had 'Darshan' of Lord Trimbakeshwar after a holy dip as part of the four-day religious programme that concluded today to pay respects to Saint Nivruttinath, elder brother of Saint Dhyaneshwar, here.

The pilgrims had started arriving in Trimbakeshwar town, near here, since the last four days. The main day was celebrated yesterday on the occasion of ''Pansh Vadya Ekadashi''. Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) commissioner Vilas Thakur performed the ''Mahapuja'' at Shree Sant Nivruttinath temple, on behalf of the state government.

Igatpuri MLA Kashinath Mangal announced a fund of Rs five lakhs for the temple. Mr Bapu Gaikwad and Hirabai Gaikwad, the first among the visitors, were felicitated on the occasion.

Later, in the evening, a ''Rathyatra'' of religious feacher Saint Nivruttinath's idol and his ''Padukas'' was taken out. The religious procession returned to the ''samadhi'' of the saint after taking ''Darshan'' of Lord Trimbakeshwar.

As many as 500 ''Dindis''(religious procession of varkaris), from all over the state also participated in the pilgrimage.

During the festivities, the atmosphere of Trimbakweshwar was filled with the chanting of ''Mantras'' and the sound of ''Talmridung''.

The district administration made various arrangements to provide devotees with food, water and shelter. Police had also maintained a strict vigil.

The pilgrims will return to their homes, after the conclusion of the ''Rathyatra'', today.

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