Guwahati: For the first time in the history, Assam’s largest religious congregations of Ambubachi Mela held annually at Kamakhya Temple located atop Nilachal Hills here will not allow any devotees or pilgrims this year.
Last year there were 20 lakh pilgrims and devotees from all over the world had attended Ambubachi Mela.
The Kamakkhya Devalaya committee on Wednesday said that the decision was taken owing to the ongoing COVID 19 crisis in the state.
The Ambubachi Mela is slated to be observed from June 22 to June 26.
Bhupesh Sarma, secretary of Maa Kamakkhya Devalaya Management Committee said, “This is the first time ever that the biggest religious festival of Ambubachi will not have any pilgrims. Unlike previous years, this year the devotees, sadhus and sanyasis will not be allowed to enter Kamakhya Devalaya or the nearby places.”
Further all the entrances to Kamakhya will be closed to prevent anyone from climbing up, he added.
The timing of Ambubachi Prabritti on June 22 is slated at 7.53 A.M. and the Nibritti is on June 25 at 8.16 P.M. But, due to the adverse situation caused by the outbreak of the Pandemic COVID-19, only the rituals will be performed in the Devalaya.
Though normally during the Ambubachi Mahayog, various social organizations were allowed to set up camps, stalls, advertise, put up banners, distribute food; the Devalaya Management Committee has also decided not to allow any such activities this year.
Even though the government has earlier allowed religious institutions to open for public on certain conditions from June 8, the Kamakhya Devalaya Management Committee, keeping public safety in mind had decided to keep the temple closed till June 30.
The Ambubachi Mela marks the annual menstruation of the goddess Kamakhya when the gates of the temple remain closed for everyone. The Kamakhya temple is one of shaktipeeths or seat of Shakti followers, each representing a body part of the Sati, Lord Shiva’s companion.
The Kamakhya temple’s sanctum houses the yoni of the Devi — female genital — symbolised by a rock.