The First Royal Bath of Ujjain Kumbha Mela 2004
Posted April 12, 2004
We left our camp this morning (April 5th) just before 6.00am to join up with the Niravani Akhara in the procession of Akharas. There were many different Akharas with their respective Mahants sitting on top of jeeps and Sumos, etc. There were a few on elephants and a few on tractors, but the preferred vehicles seemed to be Qualis' and Sumos.
Many of the Mahants were going past us to line up in the pre arranged order, there seemed to be a lot of jostling for position going on however. Mostly the other sadhus seemed to be Rama Bhaktas, as they were all chanting "Jai Sri Rama! Jai Sri Rama!"
We eventually started to move off in our respective place in the procession. The route went into the town of Ujjain, past the Gopal Mandir and ended up at Rama Ghat. The route was lined with thousands of people all paying their respects to the sadhus and saintly persons. Sarvabhauma Prabhu was sitting in the front of our jeep with Gaura Nitai from the Padayatra rath. Many people recognised Sarvabhauma Prabhu from the "Atma" TV programme, and are paying their respects to him along with the many other sadhus. Many people also came to pay their respects to Gaura Nitai despite the fact They were a little difficult to see as They were sitting on the front seat of the jeep.
The devotees were chanting nice kirtan, but it was difficult to hear as just behind us there was a big band, which was chanting "Jai Sri Rama" most of the time. After some time though one of our devotees went back and asked for the microphone, which a little surprisingly they gave him so we then had a better kirtan chanting the Mahamantra, with the backing of the band. The devotees took it in turn to lead the kirtan, including one Russian mataji, until we drew close to Rama Ghat.
As we approached Rama Ghat everyone changed into gumchas ready for taking bath. The route took the vehicles right down beside the Ghat, so the vehicles would just stop and everyone would get off, go and take bath and then get back on their vehicle and carry on, in procession out of the town and back to their respective camps.Taking bath was a quick affair, there were many police speeding things along, so one did not get long to take bath.
It was reported that one million people took bath today, this however is an unconfirmed figure and we will have better information when we see the newspaper in the morning.
If you would like to see some photos of today's event please visit: