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Over 20 lakh devotees take part in Mahamaham festival

Updated by admin on Monday, February 22, 2016 10:20 AM IST

Kumbakonam: Over 20 lakh devotees arrived in Kumbakonam on February 22 to take a holy dip in the temple tanks as part of Mahamaham theerthavari, held once in 12 years.

Security has been tightened in the town.

The festivity, called Kumbh Mela of South India, commenced on 13 February with the hoisting of a flag.

Over 23 lakh devotees had taken the holy dip as part of the festival here in the last seven days.

The Thanjavur district administration has made elaborate arrangements, including setting up of seven temporary bus terminals for the benefit the pilgrims taking part in the Mahamaham festival.

30,000 police personnel have been pressed into service, besides, deployment of fire personnel and disaster management teams. The local administration ordered closure of liquor shops for three days from yesterday.

99 health camps with basic facilities, 17 camps with advanced facilities, five government hospital camps and 34 mobile camps were being operated round-the-clock.

34 regular ambulances and 11 two-wheeler ambulances have been stationed around the holy pond. Walkie-talkies have been provided to health department officials for better co-ordination.

Additional Director General of Police J K Tripathy led senior police officials in monitoring the security arrangements. Administration officials enforced restrictions on vehicular and human movement within the town limits on specific stretches. A shuttle service for the elderly and the physically challenged was being run.

The Tamil Nadu government has declared a public holiday for three districts -  Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, and Thiruvarur on February 22 in view of the Kumbakonam Mahamaham festival.

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