Devotees throng Guwahati's Kamakhya Temple for religious fair

Guwahati (Assam), June 25 : Devotees thronged the historic temple of Goddess Kamakhya in large numbers to celebrate a religious festival in Guwahati city over the weekend.

The religious fair, which is also known as the Ambubachi Festival, is held annually during the monsoon. This year, the four-day-long festival began from June 22.

On the first three days, the main gate of the temple remains closed to visitors. It is opened on the fourth day.

For the first three days, the Goddess Kamakhya is said to be going through her menstrual cycle and visitors are not permitted to disturb her.

According to devotees, the goddess depicts womanhood, motherhood and is a giver of life.

Mithilesh Kumar Dinkar, a devotee, said the goddess fulfills the wishes of all those who visit her.

Spiritual gurus and priests camp outside the temple and wait for the door to open on the fourth day.

The Ambubachi fair is one of the biggest religious festivals of Hindus in Northeast India.

Nava Kanta Sharma, an organiser, said the state government had for the first time released funds for the festival for accommodation, commuting, security, medicals camps and food.

Sharma said that this would help in the promotion of religious tourism in the state.

"This festival attracts tourists not only from Assam but from the entire northeast. Here, there are many religious places, religious fairs, which attract visitors not only from Assam and the northeast, but tourists from other parts of the country and across the world," said Sharma.

The event will conclude on June 26.