Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the auspicious Ambubachi Mela 2018 in presence of Assam Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam Tourism Minister Chandan Brahma and Dharmagurus of Akhadas and indigenous religious leaders of Assam and Northeast at Sonaram High School Field in Bharalumukh, Guwahati on Thursday afternoon.
The Ambubachi Mela will get underway on Friday (June 22), with thousands of Hindu sadhus, some of them said to possess mystical and supernatural powers, making a beeline to the Nilachal Hills. The temple doors will be closed for visitors for three days from Friday night during which Mother Goddess Kamakhya is said to undergo her menstrual cycle.
Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements have been made for this year’s Ambubachi with policemen and para-military troopers to be deployed in large numbers for smooth conduct of the fair. Guwahati Police and Kamrup (M) district administration are installing nearly 400 CCTV cameras to monitor all activities. 10 laser cameras will also be installed to count the number of visitors.
The Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) and the district administration, meanwhile, have urged people to prefer walking up to the temple although senior citizens and ill people can avail the services of buses and other vehicles to reach the temple.
Restrictions have been imposed on devotees visiting the sacred shakti shrine from 12 midnight to 5 in the morning so that the place can be cleaned for the next day.
More than 200 volunteers will also be engaged to maintain discipline during the fair. The temple premises has also been declared a no-plastic zone and people running food counters have been told to use biodegradable materials.