Nashik: Nashik city and Trimbakeshwar on Sunday geared up for the second 'shahi snaan' (holy bath) in river Godavari during the ongoing Kumbh Mela.
A royal procession was taken out early morning by thousands of Mahants, seers of all three akadhas of Vaishnav sects, Nirmohi, Nirwani and Digambar from Tapovan to 'Ramkunda' (sacred pond).
While in Trimbakeshwar, Mahants and seers belonging to the 10 Akhadas of Shaiva sect will take out similar procession and arrive for the royal bath.
Later in the day, thousands of devotees will be allowed to take the holy dip till late night. Meanwhile, security has been stepped up at both these places with deployment of Rapid Action Force, Quick Response Teams and platoons of State Reserve Police Force.
"We have called teams of Border Security Force (BSF) for helping us," Nashik Police commissioner S Jagganathan said.
The health department has set up medical-aid centres to cater to ill devotees.
The Nashik division of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) will ply 3,000 additional buses from outer parking to inner parking at both these places for the convenience of pilgrims, MSRTC divisional controller Yamini Joshi said.
Well-equipped control rooms have been set up at both places to keep a watch on all proceedings. District guardian minister Girish Mahajan has been personally reviewing the arrangements.
The third and final 'shahi snaan' will take place at Nashik on September 18 and on September 25 at Trimbakeshwar. Simhastha Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation of faith in the world, began on July 14, with the traditional ceremony of hoisting of flags at both these places.