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PHOTOS: Kamakhya temple door shuts for mega fest

Last updated on: June 22, 2012 15:10 IST

PHOTOS: Kamakhya temple door shuts for mega fest

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Anurag Kashyap

The annual three-day 'Ambubachi mela' began at the ancient Kamakhya Temple, located atop Nilachal Hills, in Guwahati on Friday.

Seventy-two closed circuit cameras, over 300 volunteers of the National Cadet Corps and Scouts and Guides in addition to police and paramilitary personnel speaks volumes about the elaborate security arrangements that have been put in place in and around the temple -- seat of the Shakti cult -- for the safety of lakhs of devotees and pilgrims.

Pilgrims from various parts of the country and abroad have thronged the temple to have 'darshan' of the presiding deity.

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Kamakhya temple door shuts for mega fest

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The temple door was closed at 6:12 am on Friday and would reopen at 7 am on June 25, General Secretary of the Kamakhya Debuttor Board Naba Sarma said.

The doors of the temple will remain closed for three days during which the devotees accumulate in the temple premises and wait for the auspicious fourth day when they are allowed to worship the presiding deity inside the temple.

The legend is that Goddess Kamakhya has menstrual period during these three days.

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With the arrival of pilgrims, a festive atmosphere has descended in the Nilachal Hills area.

A large number of ascetics are among those who have gathered at the temple premises for Ambubachi.

The State Public Health Department has arranged for fixing a large number temporary drinking water tapes for the convenience of devotees.

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Sharma told rediff.com, "A total of 72 CCTV cameras have been installed in and around the temple to monitor the movements of the people. The state police has deployed sufficient personnel. Security is a major concern for us with so many devotees around."

Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner Ashutosh Agnihotri said over 600 security personnel have been deployed on Nilachal Hills as more than three lakh devotees were expected to visit the temple during the three-day festival.

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Nearly 410 armed police personnel have been deployed in the temple premises and its surroundings while three Deputy Superintendents of Police will supervise the security, Senior Superintendent of Police (Guwahati city) A J Barua said.

Round-the-clock vigil would be maintained in and around the temple with 66 sub-inspectors to monitor the situation and 40 women constables to assist women devotees.

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Last year over four lakh devotees visited the shrine during Ambubachi -- the figure is likely to go up to over five lakh this year. Already about 1.5 lakh devotees have arrived from various parts of the country till the filing of this report.

Temple authorities have set up seven big pandals to accommodate devotees while a large section of pilgrims will stay in rented accommodations available in and around the temple.

Devotees also stay in shelters set up NGOs in different parts of the city during Ambubachi fair.

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