Friday, October 30, 2009

Enthusiasts begin Girnar Parikrama ahead of schedule

Enthusiasts begin Girnar Parikrama ahead of schedule
Times of India

Two days before the 36-km historic Girnar Parikrama - the amazing annual religious walk when devotees tread mountainous terrain to worship at temples located in the dense forest area - will officially commence, over 50,000 enthusiasts have already started their walk uphill.

Packed trains and buses are arriving at Bhavnath, the starting point of the walk every hour. Over one lakh people have already reached Bhavnath, sources said.

"The official walk will be flagged off at 12 pm on October 29. However, eager participants have already started the walk on their own," a source at Bhavnath said. Some wish to avoid the rush of lakhs of devotees and enjoy the three nights and four days of nature peacefully at their own pace," the source added.

Meanwhile, anticipating this, the district administration too had made arrangements by Tuesday morning. "Medical camps, water points, complete police security have all been put in place from Tuesday itself so that even early birds will get all the facilities," a district official said.

On its part, the forest department, which becomes the official host of the event, has also made all arrangements. District forest officer at Girnar Anita Karne said, "All arrangements are in place along the route from Bhavnath to Zina Bava ni Madhi to Malvela, Bordevi and back to Bhavnath. It's the forest department's responsibility to see that the roads are made and security is maintained. We have done our best to ensure that the event goes off smoothly."

Appealing to people to conserve natural surroundings, Karne said, "We have repeatedly appealed to people to maintain cleanliness along the route. Special bins have been put up and people are requested to dispose of all solid waste in them. It's our collective responsibility to preserve the environment."

Use of microphones by cultural groups who come to the parikrama have also been banned. "We have banned all loudspeakers since the last two years and have done our best to see that there's no noise pollution," Karne added.

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