Banned by Mughal ruler Akbar 450 years ago, Panchkosi Parikrama restarted at Prayagraj Kumbh

The Akbar Fort was also opened, making Akshayvat and Saraswati Koop accessible for debotees

The Panchkosi Parikrama in Prayagraj, which was banned by the Mughal Emperor Akbar around 450 years ago, was restarted on Thursday at the Prayagraj Kumbh 2019. After long efforts of the saint community and the administration, the Parikrama has been restarted. The Parikrama was earlier started by some saints but had to be discontinued in 1993 due to lack of management.

The Parikrama was started after performing the Ganga aarti with the chanting of Vedic mantras. Akhara Parishad President Mahant Mahendra Giri, Juna Peethadhishwar Avdheshanand Giri and General Secretary of Akhara Parishad Mahant Harigiri along with government officials took part in the worship.

The Panchkosi Parikrama involves the parikrama of the four ashrams of four Hrishis, Hrishi Durvasa ( in the east), Hrishi Bharadvaj (in the west), Hrishi Pandeshwar Mahadev (in the north) and Hrishi Parashar (in the south). On the first day of the three-day Parikrama, devotees visit Akhsyavat and Saraswati Kund followed by Bankhandi Mahadev and Maujgiri Baba. Thereafter devotees reach the Someshwar Mahadev Mandir visiting Surya Tankeshwar, Chakra Madhav and Gada Madhav on the way to it. The first day of the Parikrama ends with the darshan of Durvasa Hrishi and Shankh Madhav Mandir.

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On the second day, the Parikrama reaches Kotwal Hanuman ji and then Dattatreya Mandir (Chetanpuri) followed by Pandeshwar Mahadev Mandir and Vasuki Mandir and concludes with bhajan-keertan. On the third and the last day of the Parikrama it concludes with the devotees collecting gangajal from sangam and performing abhishek in the ashram of Hrishi Bhardvaj.

On the demand of the Hindu saints, Yogi government decided the route of the Panchkosi Parikrama and the renovation work of the routes will be started to facilitate the Parikrama.

Apart from restarting the Parikrama, this Kumbh also saw the opening of the Akbar fort for devotees. Akshayvat and Saraswati Koop located inside the fort were made accessible to the devotees by the UP government last month. This is the first time Akshayvat and Saraswati Koop was opened during the Kumbh after Akbar had commissioned a fort at that location. The fort was constructed in such a way that it enclosed the famous Akshayavat tree and the Saraswati Koop deep well.

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