Thursday, February 19, 2009

Junagadh Samachar - Bhavnath Temple Maha Shivratri Fair

Over 10 lakh people across the country are expected to throng Gujarat's biggest Maha Shivratri' fair that began on Wednesday on a seven-acre land at the foot of Mount Girnar in Junagadh.

The six-day folk fair started with the hoisting of a religious flag at Bhavnath temple and chanting of mantras during the shashtra puja. A parade by about 2,000 sadhus of Sri Panch Dasnam Juna Akhada, Sri Panch Dasnam Ahwahan Akhahda and Sri Panch Agni Akhada too formed part of the first day ceremony. The fair looks more organized this time as many illegal constructions near the venue have been removed.

The security for the venue was planned in advance at a meeting of senior police officers of the district, sources said, adding that additional manpower has been requisitioned from Bhavnagar, Amreli and Porbandar districts.

A constant check is being kept on the fair with an eye on suspicious looking objects and persons. Many metal detectors have also been installed at different points. Besides, check-posts have also been erected on Bilkha Road, Dhararnagar, Vanthali Road, Rajkot-Dhoraji Road etc. A random checking of vehicles passing through the area was being carried out and antecedents of people staying in dharmashalas and guest houses in Junagadh verified.

Folk singers including Niranjan Pandya, Minakshi Gajjar, Devraj Gadhvi, Jitu Dwarkavala and Yogesh Goswami are expected to perform at culturual programmes at the fair. A live performance of Shiv Aradhana by artistes from Ahmedabad is slated on Thursday. The fair will conclude on February 23.

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