Nepal | August 05, 2020

PADT completes preparations for Teej

Himalayan News Service
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KATHMANDU: Special security arrangements have been put in place in and around the Pashupatinath Temple in view of the Haritalika teej festival, which falls tomorrow.

Hindu women celebrate Haritalika teej by fasting, singing, dancing and offering prayers to Lord Shiva. The festival lasts three days with women partying and enjoying darr (heavy and sumptuous foods that delay hunger) ahead of strict fasting on the final day.

The Pashupati Area Development Trust said all preparations have been made to make the festival a success. It said more than 300,000 devotees are expected to visit the temple. It has formed a 101-member main organising committee led by Babita Paudel.

According to PADT, there will be four entry points — Rudragadeshwor, Aryaghat, Bajra Ghar and the southern gate — through which devotees would be allowed to enter the temple. The western gate of the temple would be used as an exit. Only PADT employees and women devotees would be allowed to enter the temple premises.

Officials said special arrangements have been so that no devotee has to wait for more than an hour to reach the temple. All four doors of Pashupatinath Temple will remain open from 3.30 am The northern, southern and eastern doors, however, will remain closed from 12 noon to 3:00 pm for regular rituals. All doors will be closed at 8 pm.

The PADT has also made special arrangements for devotees, who do not want to stand in queue. They will have to pay Rs 1,000 to enter the temple. The elderly and persons with disabilities also need not stand in queue.

Around a dozen health camps has been set up on the temple premises to provide emergency medical service to devotees. An information centre and temporary and mobile toilets have already been set up on the temple premises.

At least 4,000 cops, both in uniform and civvies, from the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force will be deployed around the temple area for security. They have been mobilised in two shifts from today itself. The entire temple premises will be under CCTV camera surveillance.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has declared Chabahil-Mitrapark-Gaushala-Battisputali, Ratopul-Gaushala and Gaurighat-Gaushala road sections a ‘no-go zone’. Only vehicles with special entry passes would be allowed to ply the routes on Wednesday.

The festival is traditionally devoted to goddess Parvati in memory of her union with Lord Shiva, her consort. Women break their fast the next day only after performing puja of Sapta Rishi. Married women observe fast wishing for their marital bliss, while the unmarried ones do so to pray to the deity in the hope of getting an ideal husband.

A version of this article appears in print on September 16, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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