GUWAHATI, June 25 - Thousands of devotees started lining up from today to get a glimpse of Mother Goddess Kamakhya after the end of the Ambubachi period, as the doors of the shrine are scheduled to open at 6 am tomorrow.
During the four days, when the temple was shut for the annual Ambubachi Mela, the entire Nilachal hill housing the Kamakhya temple turned into a sea of humanity, as lakhs of devotees flocked the temple every day from all corners of the country and even abroad.
The nibritti ritual � believed to purify the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, after the Mother Goddess completes the four-day annual menstrual cycle � would be held at 7.51 am tomorrow, according to calculations by the temple priests.
�Though the nibritti timing is around 8 am tomorrow, the temple would be opened according to the time of sunrise. People have already stared queuing up for darshan from today afternoon and a kilometre-long line could be seen from the Pandu side,� said Bhupesh Sarma, a priest associated with the Doloi Samaj and the management board of the temple.
The grandeur of Ambubachi is increasing with every passing year, which is seen by the number of devotees. Though the crowd was manageable today after nearly two hours of rainfall, it is expected to swell tomorrow.
�The temple witnessed massive footfall on Sunday when lakhs of visitors came to visit. Despite the rush of people from the foothills up to the temple, all the departments are working in close coordination to give the best possible service to the people, and at the same time managing the crowd smoothly, with their safety, security and also the cleanliness of the surroundings in mind,� Damodar Barman, circle officer, Guwahati, told The Assam Tribune.
The arrangements are being closely monitored under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner Virendra Mittal, Commissioner of Police Hiren Nath, and District Development Commissioner Dr Bijoya Choudhury among others.
Responding to the appeal of the administration to restrict VIP movement on vehicles, a number of top bureaucrats, administrators as well as heads of several Government departments and agencies have opted to walk up to the shrine, to set an example for others.
Seizing the opportunity to promote religious tourism in Assam, the State Tourism Department and Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) have taken up several measures from cultural and devotional events to hosting the tourists coming from different parts of the country.
�More than 50,000 people have registered in the five camps put up by the ATDC. Moreover, our devotional and cultural programmes have also attracted a large number of people. Bhagavad Paath by Daivakinandan Thakur and other cultural programmes at the Sonaram HS School playground would continue till June 27,� said ATDC Vice Chairman Navadeep Kalita.
The authorities had also arranged for a large congregation of religious preachers and heads of Akhara Parishads of the country as well as religious gurus of ethnic tribes and communities of Assam and rest of the North East. More than 50 such gurus are attending the Ambubachi festival this time.