The famous Ambubachi mela, eastern India’s largest religious congregation, starts from June 22 at the Kamakhya temple, atop the Nilachal hills in Guwahati.
Lakhs of devotees belonging to the Shakti sect of Hinduism take part in the Ambubachi mela, which is believed to be the seat of tantric cult.
Union Minister of State (in charge) for Tourism Prahalad Singh Patel is likely to inaugurate the mela on June 21. Popular singer Kailash Kher will also be present during the inaugural event.
Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) chairman Jayanta Malla Baruah said that all the government departments and agencies are working together to make it a mega success.
“We are making it even bigger than the previous years. We are expecting more than 25 lakh of devotees and visitors from all across the country and even abroad. We have even doing publicity through various means in several places across the country so that more number of visitors comes here,” Baruah said on Wednesday.
Kailash Kher will perform Hari Vandana during the opening ceremony.
“We are glad that Prahalad Singh Patel who recently took the charge of tourism will inaugurate the mela. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will be present during the opening in the evening. Following that, there will be a cultural event where Kailash Kher will perform Hari Vandana,” added Baruah.
Apart from that Devi Bhagwat Katha will be performed by Sadhvi Aditi Bharti from June 22. The mela will continue till June 25.
Ambubachi mela, also known as Ambubasi festival, is held annually during monsoon which is closely related to the tantric cult and is also known as Kamkhya Devi Puja. It is believed that Goddess Kamakhya goes through her menstrual cycle during these days and therefore the temple remains closed for the next four days.
When the temple doors are opened, the devotees wait outside the temple to receive the unique ‘prasad’ which is small bits of cloth, which is supposedly moist with the menstrual fluid of Goddess Kamakhya. It is considered highly auspicious and powerful.
Keeping in mind about the increasing devotees, the local authorities have increased the capacity of the camps where the devotees will take shelter.
“We have reduced just one camp at the Kamakhya station which will now work as an information or registration centre. But we have increased the capacity of the Fancybazar camp at the old jail premises which will be able to accommodate around 25,000 people and the rest three will have the capacity of around four to five thousand devotees,” said Baruah.
For the smooth organization of the festival, the authorities have also urged the people not to use their private vehicles.
“We encourage the devotees to walk. Vehicles will be arranged for the differently-abled persons, senior citizens and children besides who have other physical difficulties. But the rest, we want them to walk so that everything goes smoothly,” he said.
The total allocated budget for the festival this year is Rs 2.60 crore.