The countdown of month-long Simhastha fair in Ujjain began with naga sadhus of the Panchdashanam Juna Akhara marching in a grand procession to bhukimata camp of the akhara on Tuesday.
The ceremonial entry of the ascetics, known as peshwai, was welcomed by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his wife.
Carrying the flag and idol of their deity, the ramta panch of the akhara was the first in the procession followed by Swami Avdheshanand and Mahamandleshwars.
Senior seers were on the silver plated palanquins brought from Kashi for the event. Elephants, camels, horses, musical bands and saints were a part of the procession. Sword-play by the saints remained the main attraction of the peshwai.
One of the Sadhus in the costume of Lord Shiva carrying a trident was performing Tandav and another spinning a plate on his finger while dancing, sending it in the air and then balancing it again on the finger.
People thronged to witness the first peshwai that started at noon from Neelganga. Peshwai of 12 other akharas are also scheduled to be taken out in coming days before the start of Simhastha on April 22. The juna akhara has also put a 125-feet high trident in their camp.