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Ambubachi Mela at Kamakhya temple, Guwahati, starts on 22 June

By Pratibha Sinha, Guwahati

Lakhs of pilgrims from across the country as well as abroad have started thronging the Kamakhya temple atop the Nilachal Hills, seat of Shakti worship, for the popular Ambubachi Mela, which started on 22nd June, 2010. The auspicious moment of Ambubachi starts at 5:34:06 pm on June 22 and the temple door is closed to the devotees at 4 pm and will end on June 26 at 5:57:46 am and the temple door will open for the devotees at 7.30 am. It will close again at 3.30 pm on account of the lunar eclipse. According to Press Release, “For the first time in 100 years, a lunar eclipse will coincide with the Ambubachi. So after opening, the temple door will be again closed early”.

The Ambubachi Mela is also known as Ameti or Tantric fertility festival as it is closely associated with Tantric Shakti cult prevalent in eastern parts of India. It is said that some Tantric Babas make their public appearances only during these four days who remain in seclusion throughout the year. Every year lakhs of pilgrims, starting from Sadhus to householders, Sanyasins, black clad Aghoras, the Khade-babas, the Baul or singing minstrels of West Bengal, intellectual and folk Tantriks, Sadhus and Sadhvis with long matted hair etc. from all over India, come to Guwahati to observe this festival. Even foreigners from abroad come to seek blessings of mother Kamakhya. In these mela hundreds of small stalls of puja materials, idols, religious books, gift items, sweet stalls etc can be seen.

The temple authorities along with the district administration have made all arrangements to ensure that the devotees face no problem during their visit. It is seen that numbers of volunteers, NCC, Scouts & Guides are active in helping the pilgrims by guiding, offering water, food, necessary supports & maintain discipline in the temple during these days along with tight security arrangements. Many local authorities like NGOs, Selp Help Groups, Local people are taking this opportunities to extend service by offering free foods & water to the devotees and pilgrims during these 4 days at different nearby areas and even in the temple.

More photos on Ambubachi Mela


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