GUWAHATI, June 24 � With the weather condition improving today, a huge rush of devotees and tourists was witnessed on the Nilachal Hills on the third day of the Ambubachi Mela, a great religious congregation for the followers of the Shakti cult.
After comparatively less footfalls in the morning hours due to rains, the crowd suddenly swelled in the afternoon, with numbers expected to exceed four lakh by the evening.
The surrounding of the temple was seen abuzz with people engaged in various kinds of activities like chanting, meditation and bhajans. Presence of sanyasis and aghoris is another attraction of the Mela and groups of people could be seen around these babas, who are a source of curiosity of the masses due to their unique looks, several feet long hair and also for their exceptional accessories. A number of woman sadhus or sadhvis were also seen engrossed in meditation near the temple.
Every year, the fair also attracts a large numbers of devotees from neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. According to sources in the temple management committee, the activities of the fair were being conducted in a smooth manner despite the hordes of pilgrims from early morning till the night.
�Some devotees are allowed to do the meditation and parikrama in the periphery of the main temple. However, no activity is allowed inside the temple. The temple would be opened for the devotees from June 26,� said Naba Sarma, secretary of the Kamakhya Debuttar Board.
Incessant rainfalls, which gripped Guwahati city for the past four days held back many of the local citizens earlier, who seized this opportunity today to witness the grandeur of the fair. To handle the crowd, the administration has deployed additional volunteers from NCC, Scouts and Guides etc.
Not just the Nilachal Hills, the entire city has been painted red in the spirit of Ambubachi. All modes of communication including the buses, trains and even the autos, trekker, city buses etc., were dominated by the devotees who have come to the Ambubachi festival. To provide assistance to the devotees coming for pilgrimage, several NGOs and individuals have come forward for arranging drinking water and food at different locations. Health camps have also been organized in different parts of the city to provide free check-up and medicines to the devotees.