The Ambubachi Festival in the Kamakhya temple is kickstarted on Wednesday (June 22) and will continue till June 26. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mela was amidst an interlude for two years. Now, that it is finally here, there are certain restrictions in place due to the ongoing flood situation in Assam and also because of fear of rising CPVID-19 cases.
The main door of Kamakhya temple will be closed at 8.15 pm today for the pilgrims and will reopen on Sunday morning (June 26).
The worshippers of Goddess Kamakhya eagerly look forward every year to the grand celebrations of Ambubachi Mela, but this year to their dismay, will have to tone down their vigour in lieu of the current crisis in the state. While everyone is warmly welcomed to attend the festival, the government is slightly skeptical about the rainfall situation during the celebration.
List of Restrictions Imposed
1. No lodging will be permitted in close proximity to the Kamkhya temple
2. No unauthorised food distribution services shall be allowed either. The District Administration will be enabling food services at designated camps only in compliance with the guidelines. As of now, only dry fruits, biscuits, and drinking water are permitted.
3. Only vehicles associated with essential services, Kamakhya temples, and a few locals will be allowed
4. No inter-district, long-distance buses including the ones under ASTC shall be allowed to ply on D.G Road, M. G Road and T.R Phukan Road during the festival dates.
5. No good carrying heavy, medium and small commercial vehicles shall be allowed. However, three wheelers commercial good carrying vehicles will be allowed from 12 am to 6 am only.
6. No vehicles to ply on the newly constructed road from Pandu Ghat to Kamakhya Trinath Temple.
The Ambubachi festival is celebrated during monsoon in the belief of Goddess Kamakhya going through her annual cycle of menstruation at this time. The temple is closed for three days beginning from the seventh day of the “Ashadh” month of the Hindu calendar until the tenth day as part of traditional seclusion during menstruation. On the twelfth day, the doors are opened ceremonially and a big fair is held at the temple. It is believed that the fertility brought in by the Goddess will bless the devotees and nurture them.
Kamrup (Metro) deputy commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha said the district administration has set up three camps — at Kamakhya railway station, old jail campus at Fancy Bazar and near Pandu port for the devotees.
He said around 5,000 devotees have already entered the camps at Kamakhya railway station and old jail campus.
Vehicular movement from the Kamakhya gate to the temple has been banned during the mela. The deputy commissioner said there will be no car pass for even VIPs or VVIPs. The district administration will provide at least 25 vehicles to ferry the officials, VIPs or VVIPs from the foothills to the temple.
Meanwhile, at least 800 CCTV cameras, 300 by the temple authorities and 500 by city police, have been installed for surveillance. The DC said an adequate number of police forces will be deployed in the temple and on the road from the foothills to the temple to ensure safety and security.