Director: Dhundiraj Govind Phalke
From Light of Asia: Fragments of actuality coverage of the great Hindu festival of the Kumbh Mela which was held in Nasik from July 1920 to August 1921. The religious significance is as follows:
In mythological times suras and asuras (gods and demons) churned the cosmic ocean for obtaining various boons that were in it. One of the boons was amrit (nectar), the drink of immortality. But the suras did not want the asuras to drink it and become immortal. Thus Jayant, son of Indra, the King of the Gods, took the urn containing the amrit to heaven. On his way he rested the urn at four places–Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. Hence during the Kumbh Mela–held during the period of Jupiter’s intersection with particular signs of the zodiac—bathing at the rivers in these places is considered auspicious. At Nasik the Kumbh Mela is held when Jupiter is in the sign of Leo and the sun and moon are in the sign of Cancer.
Phalke was born at Trymbak near Nasik and it is not surprising that the Kumbh Mela received his attention. However, the footage that has survived appears to be either unedited or a rough cut.