June 22, 2014
Jyeshtha Krushna Paksha Ekadashi, Kaliyug Varsha 5116
GUWAHATI: The Kamakhya Temple atop Nilachal Hills is teeming with pilgrims who have converged here from across the country to attend the annual Ambubachi Mela. Close to six lakh devotees are expected to participate in the four-day event beginning Sunday.
Considered as the biggest religious congregation in eastern India, devotees belonging to the Shakti sect of Hinduism take part in the mela at Kamakhya which is believed to be the seat of tantric cult. With the Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) being the nodal agency, the event has been aptly dubbed as “religious tourism” with the number travellers increasing every year.
With six lakh pilgrims, managing the fair is a mammoth task for the district administration and various other non-governmental bodies.
“This year, we are expecting more pilgrims than last year as they have been seen coming a week prior to the event. Government bodies like the PHE, NHS and other voluntary organizations are involved. This shows that the response has been good as the district administration has been actively involved in it,” said Dhruba Jyoti Das, additional deputy commissioner.
The accommodation for pilgrims has been made at Kamakhya and Pandu railway stations and at the Sonaram School Field. Every venue has been provided with cooking and food distribution facilities along with medical bays.
With incessant rain, sanitation has always been a major problem during the event. Altogether, 350 portable toilets have been installed both at the hill top and at the down hill accommodation venues. Sixty buses will be put to use to transport the pilgrims. A total of 1,100 volunteers and 1,000 security personnel have been deployed.
“Today, we had a briefing session of the volunteers and they were quite motivated in performing their duties. Security is a prime concern for the event. 190 CCTVs have been installed with 9 monitoring places along with watch towers, women squads and observers on all routes,” said AP Tiwari, city SSP.
The temple will close on Sunday evening and will reopen on June 26.