Guwahati: Assam government has decided to promote religious tourism in the state and the ongoing ‘Ambubachi Mela’ at the famous Kamakhya Temple is the first step in this direction.
    
Other festivals like Doul (Holi) Utsav at Barpeta and Bordowa, Shivaratri at Umananda and Shiva Doul at Sibsagar and Urs Festival at Poa Mecca at Hajo will similarly be focused, Tourism Director Anjan Chakraborty said.
    
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has urged the concerned department to undertake publicity campaigns, both within and outside the state, to attract tourists to the 'unique' festivals.
    
Gogoi formally threw open the Ambubachi Mela a day before the annual festival last Saturday and said that the state government would leave no stone unturned to provide adequate facilities to the pilgrims during the four-day festival.
    
"Lakhs of pilgrims from different parts of the country and even abroad come to shrines during these four days to pray and seek blessings of the Goddess. The government, therefore, would ensure that they face no difficulties and the basic amenities are taken care of," he said.
    
Ambubachi is the most important festival of Kamakhya temple, nestled atop the Nilachal Hills, and is associated with the concept of fertility cult with the earth symbolizing female 'shakti' (power).
    
Assam Tourism has set up reception counters at Lokopriyo Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Inter State Bus Terminus, Guwahati Railway Station, Kamakhya Railway Station, Old Pandu Railway Station Camp, Sonaram High School Camp, and at Kamakhya Temple to facilitate the pilgrims, Chakraborty said.

(Agencies)

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