Over five lakh pilgrims performed the 'parikrama' (circumambulation) of the Goverdhan hillock on the first day of the five-day Mudiya Poono fair, also known as mini-kumbh. The parikrama is performed to commemorate the supreme devotion of Sanatan Goswami towards Lord Krishna.
The fair started on July 12 and will last till July 16 while the 'parikrama' can be performed from July 13 onwards. The number of pilgrims will likely increase to 10 lakh by Saturday, Assistant District Magistrate (ADM) Satish Kumar Tripathi said. Though the fair started on July 12, large scores of pilgrims completed their 'parikrama' two days ahead of the fair to avoid heavy rush, the ADM said.
A new addition of chopper 'parikrama' has been arranged for the senior citizen this year. The helicopter can accommodate seven people and the circumambulation will take nine minutes to complete. The service can be availed for Rs 3,000 per person, District tourist officer DK Sharma said. Till Saturday afternoon, 56 people have availed the chopper service, he added.
The priority has been given to public amenities this year and over 1,500 buses to facilitate the pilgrims have been plied on different routes, the ADM said. The fair area has been divided into seven super zones, 21 zones and 62 sectors, he said.
The super zones are supervised by additional district magistrates, zones by sub-divisional magistrates or senior deputy collectors, and sectors by gazetted officers, he added. Use of polythene has been banned and 15 government and two private medical centres will work round-the-clock to cater to the medical needs of pilgrims, he said, adding that 17 mobile toilets and 20 tankers have also been made available.
More than 2,500 police personnel have been deployed to ensure security at the fair, SSP Shalabh Mathur said. Police personnel in plain clothes have been posted in the main temple and other sensitive areas to maintain the law and order in the area, while 21 posts have been set up on the 'parikrama' route, the SSP added.
Two pair of new trains have been introduced on the Mathura-Kasganj route, another two pair of trains on the Mathura-Alwar route while routes of four trains have been extended, PRO DCM office, Agra, SK Srivastava said.
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