The third Shahi Snan of 'Simahastha 2003' began on Monday on the auspicious Vrishi Panchami with thousands of sadhus and mahants taking a dip in the Godavari waters at Ramkund in Nashik amid tight security.
Sadhus of various akhadas of the Vaishnava sect reached Ramkund in a royal procession carrying golden idols of deities, traditional flags and spears with silver rods.
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The Nirmohi Akhada was the first to take the holy dip at 8 am followed by the Digambar and Nirvana Akhadas.
The authorities had made elaborate security arrangements with 9,000 police personnel, including three companies of State Reserve Police Force, being deployed. Barricades were put up important points as about 1.5 million pilgrims are expected to take the bath during the day.
Separate entry and exit points have been fixed to avoid confusion after last week's stampede, which claimed 33 lives.
The pilgrims would be able to take a dip in the holy waters at noon after the akhadas complete the Shahi Snan.
The final Snan would be held at Trimbakeshwar on September 7.