Lucknow, Apr 7: The holy 'Chaitra Navratra' commenced today with devouts congregating at various temples to offer 'puja-archana' to Goddess Bhagvati.This time, the Navratra would be celebrated for eight days and would mark an end on April 14, sources said.
Devotees are thronging the famous temples of the state, including Shaktipeeth Vindhyachal, Lalita Devi temple in Sitapur, Pateshvari Devi Sidhpeeth in Balrampur.
According to reports received from Balrampur, devotees came to the famous Pathan Devi Sidhpeeth for 'darshan-pujan' of the Goddess on first day of the Navratra.
Similarly, in Mirzapur, Godess Vindhyavasini Devi temple is witnessing a huge rush. The eight-day long Vidhyachal Navratra mela also began amid tight security today.
The district administration was, however, faced with a tough job to manage the crowd.
District magistrate Dr Hariom said the whole mela area is divided into 9 zones and 30 sectors and respective magistrates deployed on duty.
Special arrangements have been made to avoid any stampede during the mela. CCTvs have been installed to keep a vigil at sensitive places.
In a meet held yesterday, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) S N Sanvat had directed all the policemen to roam in the entire mela area.
Bomb disposal squad, dog squad, anti-snatching squad and policemen in civvies have been arranged as part of a stringent security cover.
Besides, three fire-tenders, crane, police riding on horse and clad in civil dress deployed at every nook and corner of the area.
Special tansport arrangements have been made with as many as 200 buses of the state road transport corporation pressed into service to ferry the pilgrims.
The railways is also halting several trains here for the convenience of the devotees.
Besides, Ayodhya's famous Ram Navmi mela also started today and would end on April 16.
Security has been hightened at renowned temples and public places to avert any terrorist move.
A beeline of devotees could be seen for paying obeisance at Lalita Debi Shaktipeeth, Sitapur, and Devkali temples in Ayodhya and Faizabad, sources said.