Dehra Dun: Kanwarias, the devotees of Lord Shiva, have started descending on holy towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh for the annual Kanwar mela which began on Wednesday.
During the fortnight-long mela, Kanwarias from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan visit Haridwar and Rishikesh to take "Gangajal" and offer it to Shivlings in local temples of their villages or towns.
The Uttarakhand government has made elaborate security arrangements for the mela that takes place in the month of Shravan every year.
Nearly 3000 police and PAC personnel have been deployed at various places in Haridwar, Rishikesh and Neelkanth temple to maintain law and order, officials said.
Since Lakhs of Kanwarias are likely to come to Uttarakhand, the administration has also made arrangements for smooth flow of traffic, they said.
The traffic on Delhi-Deha Dun national highway will also remain diverted from July nine as the rush of Kanwarias is likely to increase from next week.
The Railways have also announced four new special trains from Delhi and Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh for the convenience of Kanwarias.