Kamakhya temple opens, lakhs throng

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Guwahati, Jun 25 (UNI) Tens of thousands of devotees thronged the Kamakhya temple this morning to have a glimpse of the Goddess Kamakhya after three days of what is called the ''menstruation period''.

A conservative estimate put by the Assam Police said more than four lakh devotees had visited the temple this time and so far there has not been any untoward incident.

This morning, as soon as the doors were flung open, thousands jostled to have a glimpse of the Goddess as police, para-military forces and scouts had a difficult time managing them.

Hundreds of Sadhus (Holy men) have descended from all over India to participate in the week-long Ambubachi mela at Kamakhya dham. The centre of attraction is the red piece of cloth which is considered to be most sacred. The cloth is shredded into thousands of pieces and distributed.

The vast complex has been teeming with activities as various Sadhus hold courts, displaying their amazing skills casting a mystic spell.

Many of them are known faces and scholars. They have been visiting the temple for years.

Kamkhya is considered the seat of tantras. However, there was no Sashtri baba this time as the Oxford educated Sadhu had crossed ninety years of age. There were so far no ''white sadhus' also who generally made an appearance in the five-day fair.

No private vehicles were allowed up the Neelachal hills. Free ferry vehicles had been arranged for transporting the pilgrims, Guwahati Superintendent of Police Pradip Pujari said.

The temple, atop a hill on the banks of the Brahmaputra, is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya, consort of Lord Shiva. The idol of the Goddess inside the temple is represented by a female fertility symbol.

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