Number of devotees at Chamunda Temple records sudden drop

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Jodhpur, Oct 1 (UNI) The number of devotees at the Chamunda Mata temple at Mehrangarh recorded a sudden fall today after yesterday's stampede which left 147 people dead.

The historic temple at the Mehrangarh hilltop was reopened for darshan this morning but it drew a small number of visitors against yesterday's 20,000 strong gathering, temple priest Ghanshyam Tiwari said.

Mr Tiwari said today it was really unusual day at this 548 year-old temple which used to attract several thousands of devotees daily during Navratra celebrations every year.

He said '' I am serving here for past 25 years but I have never seen such a low number of devotees during the nine day Navratra celebrations.'' Contrary to this, a large number of VIP visitors, including former vice president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Congress General secretary Rahul Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh, thronged the temple to have first-hand information about the tragic incident.

UNI SS GT KN1820

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