Bhubaneswar: Most popular Khandagiri ‘Kumbha’ Mela is all set to kick off at the foothills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri hills from today here.
A large number of saints, monks and followers of various Hindu religious sects from across the country have assembled on the outskirts of the city for a week long religious and cultural event.
The Khandagiri ‘Kumbha’ Mela begins on the auspicious day of Magha Saptami, the seventh day of lunar month of Magha as per Hindu calendar (English month – January or February).
The religious leaders and monks will participate in the ‘Yajna’ (religious ritual with fire) at their temporary Mutts this evening after taking holy dip at Chandrabhaga beach, around 3 km away from Konark Sun Temple in Puri district, and offering prayer to Lord Sun on Magha Saptami in the morning.
All the preparations have almost been completed for the rituals of lighting of the holy fire in the evening. Entire Khandagiri and Udayagiri hills will be echoed with sound of hymns and chanting of mantras at various mutts and Goddess Barabhuja Temple, where the pilgrims and devotees will be distributed Prasads during Magha Mela.
The ‘Yajna’ will continue throughout nine days and ‘Purnahuti’ (final day of Yajna) will be offered on full moon day of the month (Magha Purnima).
As per the rituals, the presiding deity of Khandagiri, Ananta Kesari Dev will travel to Rani Hansappur at Khandagiri-Udayagiri hills from Naga Mutt at Jagamara on Wednesday evening in a grand procession for the Magha Mela. The deity will make his way back to his mutt at night from Rani Hansapur.
Elaborate arrangements have been made by the Jagamara village committee for the procession of Lord Ananta Kesari to Khandagiri-Udayagiri hills.
In view of influx of pilgrims and monks to the foothills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri hills, the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissionerate police is also well prepared for smooth conduct of the mega Khandagiri Mela, which will be held for 10 days this year.
At least 16 CCTV cameras have been installed at various places for monitoring the crowd and to keep vigil on anti-social activities during the event. A temporary police outpost during the fair will maintain law and order. Six platoons of police forces will be deployed at the site, out of which one platoon will control the vehicular traffic at Khandagiri traffic post. Along with the traffic personnel, 50 more volunteers will be deployed for controlling the vehicular movements from 4 am till 12 midnight. Few police personnel will roam in the crowd in civil dress. The CCTV cameras will also be installed and police forces will be deployed at Jatra pandals throughout the event.