Nashik: 'Maha Kumbh Akhand Jyot', a one-of-its-kind lamp having the longest wick of 3,617-km, the same as the distance from Kashmir to Kanykumari, was illuminated on the opening day of the Simhastha Kumbh here and will continue to burn for all the 108 days.
According to the Kumbh organisers, the lotus-shape lamp, lit on July 14 by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during the flag hoisting (dharma dhwaja rohan) ceremony, is 8-ft high and will hold the Akhand Jyot up to October 10 as a symbol of India's unity and diversity.
This unique bronze lamp, with a radius of 8 metres, is fed with hundreds of litres of Til (sesame) oil everyday and its 4-inch thick wick is driven by hand-held machines, former cabinet minister of Maharashtra and Sena leader Babanrao Gholap said.
The wick, prepared by cotton threads woven together has been bundled into a half-kilometre long ball kept nearby.
Describing the importance of this gigantic Diya, erected adjacent to the Sadhugram, Shri Ramanujacharya Himalay Baba, under whose guidance the lamp was set up said, "This is a unique way to unify devotees spiritually."
"Our country is spread from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and this is why we have chosen to keep the wick of the lamp akin to the distance between them (two destinations) to unite the country forever culturally," he said.
"Whosoever comes here and gets the Darshan of this Diya, is bestowed with all sorts of blessings of health, wealth and spirituality," he added.
Many devotees visiting the Kumbh were seen overwhelmed by the size and structure of this lamp.
Vijay Kumar, an industrialist from Patna who visited the place and got a 'darshan' of the Diya said, "Of course, the Diya has been structured very well with a blend of science and spirituality, but the religious atmosphere here makes all the difference."