Special security arrangements have been made in and around the Pashupatinath Temple in view of the Haritalika Teej festival, which is being observed tomorrow.Hindu women celebrate Haritalika Teej by fasting, singing, dancing and offering prayers to Lord Shiva. According to the Pashupati Area Development Trust, more than 300,000 women devotees are expected to visit on of the most revered Hindu shrines in the world, to offer puja to the diety and security have been beefed up accordingly, to prevent any untoward incidents.
The PADT said there would be three entry points Guheshwori-Gaurighat-Rudragadeshwori, Jayabageshwori-Bhuwaneshwori-Sankharacharya Math and Airport-Pinglastha-Char Shivalaya, through which devotees could proceed towards the western, northern and southern gates of the temple. After many years, the PADT is set to open the eastern gate for easy entry and exit of the devotees and as measure to control crowd. Senior citizens and persons with disabilities need not stand in queue.Arrangements have been made in such a way that no devotee should wait for more than an hour to reach the temple. All four doors of the temple will be opened at 3:00 am.
According to a press release issued by the PADT, all preparations were over to host the devotees. Only PADT employees and women devotees would be allowed to enter the core area of the temple after 6:00am tomorrow.At least 4,000 cops, both in uniform and civvies, from Nepal Police and Armed Police Force have been deployed around the temple area for security. The entire temple premises will be under CCTV camera surveillance.Around a dozen health camps has been set up to provide emergency medical service to devotees.
Information centre, and temporary and mobile toilets have also been arranged. The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has declared Chabahil-Mitrapark-Gaushala-Battisputali, Ratopul-Gaushala and Gaurighat-Gaushala road sections ‘no-go zone.’Tilganga Chowk, Siphal Chaur and Guheshori Bagmati corridor have been designated as parking areas.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 or seven great sages.
Married women observe fast wishing for their marital bliss, while unmarried ones do so to pray to the deity in the hope of getting an ideal husband.Meanwhile, the PADT in association with the District Administration Office has put a ban on sale and consumption of liquor, psychoactive drugs and meat around the temple.PADT has appealed to women devotees not to wear jewellery made of precious metals to prevent incidents of robbery and snatching.