Nashik: Ahead of the first 'Shahi Snan' (royal bath) scheduled for August 29, a conventional flag hoisting ceremony of three Vaishnavite akhadas was held on Wednesday at 'Sadhu Gram' in Nashik, which is hosting the Kumbh Mela along with Trimbakeshwar.
The 'dhwajarohan' (flag hoisting) of Digambar, Nirmohi and Nirwani akhadas was held at their respective camps in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis, BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve and various seers.
After hoisting their flags on 51-ft long wooden poles, the sadhus demonstrated traditional war skills like wielding 'dandpatta' (gauntlet sword) and lathis and burst fire crackers.
On the occasion, Shah said the ongoing Kumbh mela offers a good opportunity to the management students for their projects.
"The students of management have a good opportunity for their project. Our 'parivar' salutes and seeks blessings of mahants, sadhus for us and for prosperity of our nation," Shah said.
He also inaugurated an arch constructed by Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) in Sadhu Gram on the Nashik-Aurangabad Road, named as 'Jagat Guru Ramanandacharya entrance'.
Fadanvis lauded the role of district administration and Nashik Municipal Corporation for their contribution in preparing a good plan for the religious jamboree and assured the gathering that his government will provide adequate funds required for any incomplete works.
"Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked me to look after Kumbh mela event at Nashik when I went to Delhi to hand over an invitation to him for the event," he said.
District Guardian Minister Girish Mahajan, NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, state minister Dadasaheb Bhuse, Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil were also present on the occasion.
The 25-ft long and 10-ft wide rectangular cotton flags of the three akhadas were prepared by 12 artists from Mumbai.
While the Digambar Akhada's flag, bearing the image of Lord Hanuman, was done in five colours, those of Nirwani Akhada and Nirmohi Akhada were in red and white, respectively.
Later, Shah and Fadanvis went to Trimbakeshwar, about 30-km from here, for attending the installation ceremony of idols of Navanath in a temple constructed by Gorakhnath Mutt.