Ujjain, Feb 2: The Kal Bhairav temple in MP's Ujjain will be known for one more reason - govt approved dedicated liquor counters at the temple premises. While the deity is known for consuming litres of alcohol as prasad every day, the Madhya Pradesh government has taken this unique step so that devotees are not swindled by non-licensed vendors of alcohol.
An important pilgrimage site for Hindus, the move is significant for next years' Kumbh Mela, which is also known as the Simhastha fair, held once in every 12 years. Lakhs of devotees are expected to visit Ujjain an offer alcohol as prasad here.
"This way, the government can also generate revenues," said an official. Raghavendra Upadhyay, the Deputy Commissioner said,"Keeping in view next year's Simhastha fair, we decided to open two liquor counters, one for (locally made alcohol) and the other for foreign liquor."
Under the new excise policy, the state government has decided to set up liquor counters that will sell both varieties of liquor in 180-ml bottles from April 1.
This move has also gathered support from the devotees. One of them said,"t's a commendable move. It will stop garland vendors from selling us liquor at unregulated prices." Another says that this will ensure that devotees bought liqor at a regulated price.