Nashik: The Shree Ganga Godavari Temple at Ramkund on Tuesday threw open its doors after 12 years to coincide with the Simhastha Kumbh Mela 2015 which has begun in the twin pilgrim centres of Nashik and Trimbakeshwar.
Thousands of eager devotees and pilgrims made a beeline for the temple, on the banks of the Godavari River, since early morning for prayers and darshan which will remain open till August 11, 2016, when the curtains fall on the current Kumbh Mela.
Dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Godavari, the temple priest S.W. Jadhav and other colleagues performed the morning prayers as several hundreds of devotees joined them.
"This is the only temple of its kind in the world which opens to coincide only with the 12-year Kumbh Mela cycle in Nashik... When it is closed for another 12 years, people offer prayers from outside," Jadhav told mediapersons, pilgrims and tourists.
Besides the Shree Ganga Godavari Temple, there are a total of 108 temples in and around Ramkund itself, making it one of the holiests Hindu sites in the country.
Ramkund itself is associated with Hindu Lord Shiva, and the Kapaleshwar Temple here is the only temple in the country that does not have an idol of Nandi, the bull at its entrance.
"If you bathe at Ramkund, you will be relieved from the Brahma-hatya," Nandi is believed to have advised Hindu Lord Shiva.
Pleased by the advice, Hindu Lord Shiva took him as one of his gurus and so there is no idol of Nandi outside the Kapaleshwar Temple, the priests said.
Ramkund is also the divine place where Hindu Lord Ram, Sita and Laxman spent a few years while on their 14-year long exile, and around eight kms away is the birthplace of Hindu Lord Hanuman in Anjaneri hills.