Guwahati, June 20 (IANS) With devotees from across the country and abroad thronging the historic Kamakhya temple here for the annual Ambubachi mela, the temple authorities are gearing up to play host to lakhs while police has beefed up security.
The festival begins on Friday evening and will continue till Tuesday. The temple authorities will close the main door of the sanctum sanctorum on Friday to lock the Mother Goddess in for her annual menstrual period.
The temple will reopen on Tuesday morning and the lakhs of devotees will be allowed to visit and worship the Goddess. During this period, the Hindus do not worship and farmers do not plough their land.
The Assam Tourism Development Corp (ATDC) is making all out efforts to make it a colourful festival to attract more tourists than just the religious and spiritual ones and has drawn up elaborate plans to promote state’s tourism through the festival.
ATDC Chairman Jayanta Malla Baruah said Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will inaugurate the festival at Sonaram school playground at Bharalumukh, adding that over 50 religious gurus including the heads of ethnic communities of the region will be present.
“We are planning to promote religious integration through the festival. Gurus of different sects including the 13 different akharas, heads of Vaishnavite Satras in Assam, religious preacher of Khasi, Bodo, Jaintia, Karbi Mising and other communities will be present,” he said.
“While there will be free bus services to the temple, we are also organising free health check up, medical facilities, drinking water facilities, roadside assistance and others.”
Police has also drawn up plans to ensure security and safety to all.
Guwahati Police Commissioner Hiren Nath said that adequate measures have been taken to ensure security during the festival, adding that over 400 CCTV cameras have been installed and control rooms set up to assist the police.
He said child rescue booths have also been set up in the temple and adjoining areas and helpline numbers activated to check the problem of missing children.
“The volunteers of some NGOs have also been engaged to help the police and security forces personnel during the festival,” he said.