Friday, January 31, 2014

Triveni Sangam

On January 28, I visited a serene and beautiful place called Triveni Sangam situated at Alandi about 25 km (15 miles) from Pune, a vibrant city located some 150 km (93 miles) from Mumbai where I live. The place is set amongst hills, rivers, and greens and is considered holy by Hindus.

Triveni means ‘three rivers’ and Sangam means ‘confluence’ hence Triveni Sangam refers to the meeting of three sacred rivers—Bhima, Bhama, and Indrayani. In Hindu tradition, a bath at the confluence of all three rivers helps wash away one’s sins and frees one from the repetitive cycle of birth, death, and rebirth until one attains moksha (salvation).

Triveni Sangam is also considered sacred because the ashes of the departed are immersed at the confluence of the rivers, thus liberating the soul from earthly and material bondage. A local boatman takes you to the point of convergence where you submerge the ashes in a brief ritual. He charges Rs.30 (about 50 cents) per head for the ride and guides you if necessary. It is an affecting scene.

The place is also the samadhi or final resting place of Sambhaji Maharaj, son of the brave Maratha warrior king Shivaji who fought against Mughal rule in the 17th century, and is dotted with many temples and deities. Clean and wholesome vegetarian food is available at the site. 

There are similar Triveni Sangam in other parts of India. While the Triveni Sangam I visited is also a tourist destination, it is first and foremost a holy site for religious rites. A few moments spent in the tranquil environment can alter one’s outlook on life for the better.

© All images by Prashant C. Trikannad

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