Guwahati, June 20: This time the world-famous Ambubachi mela, hosted annually in the Kamakhya temple, Guwahati, Assam, is going to witness a VIP rush. Reason: they have been specially invited by the Assam Tourism Department to grace the four-day-long religious festival, starting from June 22.
What is noteworthy about the VIPs visiting the temple is that they have been invited personally by a group of bikers, who are currently on an all-India tour. This is for the first time that invitation cards have been printed to invite some of the well-known politicians from across the country to attend the fair.
Generally, tantriks, sadhus, tourists to foreign scientists visit the temple in the Nilachal hill during the festival days on their own will. This time, a special 37-day-long bikers' tour has been arranged by the department so that biggies could be handed over invitation cards by the representatives from the state.
Some of the popular politicians who have been invited for the fair include BJP chief Amit Shah, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union ministers and all MLAs of Uttar Pradesh, to name a few. Others in the guest list include devotees from Vrindaban and Hindu religious heads, to name a few.
The bikers, who began their journey last month, have already visited states like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat, inviting prominent persons, religious heads, mediapersons and devotees.
"They have personally visited them and handed over the invitation letters. All have expressed their willingness to visit the Kamakhya temple during Ambubachi mela," an official in the tourism department was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
Ambubachi mela, celebrated to mark the annual menstrual cycle of Goddess Kamakhya, witnesses around 10 lakhs devotees and tourists, every year. One of India's biggest religious congregations, the fair is a favourite event among tantriks, and researchers from various parts of the country and nations like the UK, the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Nepal and Bangladesh, to name a few.
"This is for the first time devotees have been invited by the tourism department. Since ancient times, the devotees and tourists have come to the temple on their own. This time the department is inviting prominent people probably to promote tourism," Bhupesh Kumar Sarma, general secretary of Bordeuri Samaj, the society of the priests, told The Telegraph.