By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 18: The famous annual Ambubachi Mela at Shaktipeeth Kamakhya atop Nilachal hills in Guwahati will begin from Monday.
The temple doors will be closed at 12:51 a.m. on June 23 and all forms of worship stopped.
Temple doors will be re-opened for visitors in the morning of June 26 though the actual worship would resume after 1:15 pm of that day.
Goddess Kamakhya is believed to undergo her menstrual cycle during this period of the year and worship is closed in the temple.
Thousands of devotees from outside the State as well as abroad are expected to throng the city to participate in the four-day Mela.
Special arrangements have been made by the Kamrup (metro) district administration as well as the Ambubachi Mela Parishalo Samity to ensure a smooth event.
Security measures have received special attention, along with hygiene and sanitation facilities.
"We expect around 10-13 lakh devotees. Over 700 volunteers, including personnel of NCC, civil defence, home guards and police, would be deployed during the fair," said Himankar Sarma of the organizing committee. As part of the security measures, permanent CCTV cameras have been already installed while the temple premises and its surroundings are being sanitized using sniffer dogs. Temporary camps have been set up by the administration at Soram HS playground, Pandu Station, Kamakhya station, Maligaon station, Old Pandu station, Bagala Mandir and harbari where food will be distributed to the visitors.
Five hundred toilets and as many water-taps have been constructed by the organizers for the Mela. Cooked food and fruits from outside have been prohibited within the temple complex.
Arrangements have been made for anti-mosquito fogging everyday from June 22 to June 26.
Mobile medical vans will also be deployed for the assistance of the visitors.
Food safety officers have been asked to monitor food items at the 'Bhandaras' and other food stalls. Help desks and control rooms have been set up for visitors at various places.
Special transportation facilities have also been made, with entry of private vehicles without pass banned during the festival days.
Buses, trekkers and share-taxis have been provided by the administration to ferry the devotees from the foot of Nilachal hills to the temple.