Rajahmundry: Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation commissioner S. Ravindra Babu said the name for the Godavari Pushkaralu would not pose a problem.
“If any official authority chooses a name, we will accept it. Some unofficial sources are saying it’s 144 years. But we don’t have any authenticated record to say it’s 144 years. I don’t think that nomenclature will be a big issue,” he said.
Some of the swamis say that it will be a Kumbh Mela as the pushkaram is coming after 144 years (the 12th instance, each occurring after a gap of 12 years) to Godavari.
Millions, including holy men, are expected to take part and the occasion can be celebrated in Telangana too along the Godavari stretch, right from its origin Nasik to its end, in Antarvedi, like in 2003.
However, others argue that it can’t be called a Kumbh Mela as it can be used only for North India and say that it is a Maha Pushkaralu.
Almanac writers say that is not even Maha Pushkaralu but only pushkaralu.
State Drukghanitha Almanac Writers’ Association president Hanmanthavajjula Subrahmanya Sarma, said, “Kumbh Mela for Godavari happens only at Trimbakeshwar in Nasik. We shall call this Pushkaralu at Rajahmundry. The theory of 144 years is a myth. Don’t know who calculated it and how they calculated it. So we can’t even name it Maha Pushkaralu.”
However, Swamy Kamalananda said that it was a Maha Pushkaram and there was nothing wrong in calling it a Kumbh Mela.
“It’s happening after 144 years. Right from the origin of the river in Nasik till it ends in Antarvedi in East Godavari district, this mammoth fair can be held where all Hindus of this nation can congregate. We are expecting millions of devotees, including sadhus and sants, to take a dip in the river Godavari at Rajahmundry too. But as North India is closer to them, they will opt for that region and the number will be less here,” said Swamy Kamalananda.
He added, “It can even be celebrated in Basara in Telangana or any other areas along the river Godavari if there is water. If at least half tmc ft of water is released from Babli it will be easy for everyone to take a holy dip. Otherwise during the season, from July to August, when this is held, the river will be dry or semi dry at most places. But in Rajahmundry we have water all the time."
While the AP government does not have an estimate of how many pilgrims might congregate at Rajahmundry, the Maharashtra government is gearing up for over 10 million pilgrims from July 14 to September 25 in 2015 by spending Rs 2,380 crore.