Ujjain: The Madhya Pradesh government is working hard to make security and other arrangements ahead of the Simhasth Kumbh here in April-May.
The Simhasth Kumbh pilgrimage will be held from April 22 to May 21 on the banks of Kshipra river in Ujjain. It is expected to attract about five crore (50 million) people from across the country and abroad -- in one of the largest spiritual gatherings anywhere in the world.
Here are the preparations being made for the pilgrimage:
- The Madhya Pradesh government has made special arrangements for making available adequate quantities of fruit, vegetables and flowers for the Simhasth Kumbh pilgrimage, including a targeted supply of 97 lakh kg of marigold flowers. Farmers in the state have, over a month ago, been given seeds of vegetable, flower and fruit crops to be cultivated over 2056 hectares of land, the horticultural department said. Three varieties of marigold seeds have been distributed to be sown in 556 hectares of land with a targeted supply of 97 lakh kg of the flowers, said the department.
- Mahakaleshwar temple here, one of the 12 most venerated shrines of Lord Shiva in India, has ramped up by four to five times its production of sweets used as 'prasad' to cater to the rush of devotees ahead of Simhasth Kumbh. Notably, visit to the Mahakaleshwar temple by a pilgrim is considered a must after a dip in the Kshipra river at the Simhasth Kumbh.
- Authorities have roped in snake experts to catch the reptiles and release them in the wild elsewhere to prevent any mishaps. These experts have caught 118 snakes so far from the proposed venue since October 2015.
- A 131-foot high trident, Hindu god Shiva's weapon, has been erected in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh to mark the Simhasth Kumbh. Prepared with the support of Bajaj company, the trident weighs seven tonnes and is made of stainless steel. Made in Nasik, it cost Rs 20 lakh.
- A 121 feet long agarbatti (joss stick) has been lit at the site of the Simhasth Kumbh pilgrimage. The agarbatti weighs about 4,000 kg and was produced in Gujarat at a cost of about Rs 3 lakh. It was lit by Bholagiri, a member of 'Aavaahan Akhara', on April 10 evening and is likely to continue to spread scent in the air for the entire duration of the pilgrimage.