18 February, 2019
Typically, the Kumbh Mela is always associated with the four cities of North India, namely, Prayagraj, Ujjain, Nasik, and Haridwar. Perse, for Hindus, the Kumbh Mela, is indeed one of the most significant pilgrimages of a lifetime. However, it is entirely possible that many people in the South, it may not be possible to travel so far. Also, for people from across the country, if they want to avoid the harsh cold of the North, there is an alternate in the Kumbh Mela of the South.
You may be surprised at this, as not many people, even down South know of such a Kumbh Mela. However, this Kumbh Mela has been going on since 1989 and is held at T. Narsipura, Karnataka, where the three holy rivers Cauvery, Kapila, and Spatika Sarovara come together in a Triveni Sangam. The Spatika Sarovara, is an invisible river, just like the mythical Saraswati river of the North Triveni Sangam. This was started by various pontiffs of the South from the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. This year it is happening now, from the 17th of February till the 19th of February and an approximate 10 lakh people are expected to take part in it and take a dip in the holy confluence.
T. Narsipura stands for Tirumakudalu Narsipura, and it is situated in the world famous Mysore district, just about 35 Km from the central Mysore city. The river Kabini or Kapila flows here, and the famous Gunja Narasimhaswami temple is located here on its banks. There are also a few other temples dotted around the area that are worth a visit.
The various holy places situated around here are Bharadwaja Rushyashram, Chowdeshwari temple, Rudrapada, Akshaya Vatavruksha, Ashwatha tree, and the Vyasaraja Mutt.
Apart from security, the state and district administration has made special arrangements in the place, to ensure that the massive inflow of pilgrims can take a dip easily. The river banks have been made safe by putting sandbags and bathing Ghats and changing rooms have been arranged for the people who will take a dip in the confluence. Clean drinking water facilities have been set up, and many minibusses are operating in the vicinity to take pilgrims around the place. A mini hospital has been set up, and four ambulances have been kept on standby, just in case of any mishaps.
Sixty-three seers from various mutts and peetas are gracing the occasion, and many religious and cultural events are being held daily in the temples and Matts around the place. So, apart from taking a dip in the holy Sangam to wash away their sins, pilgrims can also participate in these events for a wonderful spiritual experience.
Homas like the Navagraha Pooja, Punyaha, Punyahuthi, Sudarshana Homa, etc. will be performed and a Saptanadhi Kalasha Pooja will also be performed. Many dignitaries, including former and current ministers, and the Chief Minister of the state, Shri. H D Kumaraswamy is expected to take part in the event.
How to reach?
The closest airport to T. Narsipura happens to be Bangalore, and from there, cabs can be availed, other than KSRTC buses, or trains, to reach the place. If you go by train, you can get down in Mandya and take a bus, or you can do so from Mysore as well. From Bangalore, it takes roughly about 3 hours to get to T. Narispura. Buses ply to this place, from all parts of Karnataka.
If you are traveling down South from the other parts of India, you could use this opportunity to check out the nearby places of Mysore, with its historic palace and other such tourist spots. The climate is quite tolerable, as the summer has not yet fully taken over, while the winter cold has fully receded. This would be one of the best times to visit this place as well.
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