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Three-day 'Nath Sashti Fair' begins in Paithan

The annual three-day-long 'NathSashti Fair', also known as 'Paithan Yatra', commenced in the shrineof Sant Eknath at the holy town of Paithan, about 60 km from here. The fair is held to mark the death anniversary of Sant Eknath, who took 'jal samadhi' (river water immersion) in Godavari river atPaithan, which is also his birthplace. This is the 419th year ofthe fair. It falls every year on the sixth day of the Phalgun month as per theMarathi calendar and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. During the three-day fair, the devotees gather at Paithan on thebanks of the Godavari river to pay homage to Sant Eknath Maharaj.

It began with the chanting of 'Bhanudas Tukaram' mantra on Tuesdayin the shrine of Sant Eknath. More than 500 "Dindis" (procession ofwarkaries) that is around five to six lakh followers from across thestate arrived here for the three days of this festival. All the "dindis" were welcomed by the Paithan Nagarpalika chairmanSuraj Loldge in a traditional way. This festival is the second largest in Maharashtra, next to'Aashadhi Ekadashi' at Pandharpur. The civic administration has made adequate arrangement for stayingof the visiting 'warkaris' by erecting tents (Rahutis) on the banksof Godavari. Also, police have made elaborate security arrangement by deployingmore than 300 police personnel besides installing 70 close circuitTV cameras as well as pressing drones to monitor the crowd duringthe fair.

The Jayakwadi irrigation authority has released water from the damso that the warkaris can take the holy bath in Godavari on the occasion. Aurangabad district collector on Wednesday declared an optionalholiday for the staff on this occasion.

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