Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday announced an aid of Rs 25 crore for the development of the Kamakhya temple’s infrastructure over the next couple of years. Pradhan, who was in Guwahati to attend a series of meetings and road show made the announcement at the end of the historic Ambubachi Mela.
Ambubachi is the celebration of goddess Kamakhya’s annual menstruation cycle, considered as a symbol of fertility by the Hindus. The temple’s sanctum sanctorum is closed to devotees during the period which marks the time of the fair. Kamakhya temple atop Nilachal Hills reopened its doors Sunday morning. Lakhs of devotees, including politicians made their way to the temple to have a glimpse of the Goddess. According to official sources, the Ambubachi mela drew more than 25 lakh pilgrims this time around.
Pradhan along with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and state Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, were among the first to visit the temple when the gates opened at 6am. They were accompanied by Union HRD minister Smriti Irani, Union sanitation and drinking water minister Ram Kripal Yadav, and Assam and Nagaland governor P.B. Acharya. Kabindra Sarma, the president of Bordeuri Samaj that looks after the management of the temple, said that the announcement for a grant to the temple would give a much needed facelift to one of India’s major pilgrimage spot.
Meanwhile, Sonowal told reporters that the government would make efforts to develop the temple into a major tourist attraction.