Ranchi, July 13: Baidyanath Dham, the abode of Lord Shiv in Jharkhand, is set to attract devotees as Deoghar gets ready for Shravan Mela, which starts from July 19.
So what’s new this year?
A special Baba Baidyanath Trikut Mahotsava will be organised, which will showcase everything about the state — its people, culture and religion. This three-day colourful festival is likely to be one of the major attractions of the month-long festivities.
Singers like Kailash Kher, Shiv Mani, Daler Mehendi, Hans Raj Hans and Sufi dance exponent from Turkey Kamal Kharoz are likely to participate in the show. Hema Malini and her troupe, Mamata Shankar, Kalpana Malini Awasthi, Shivananda and others are also being considered, said sources.
The mahotsava, likely to be held between August 8 to 12, will also display state handicrafts ranging from dokra art to Pyatkar and Jadupatia paintings and special shawls and saris designed here. A food plaza will cater to the taste of devotees and efforts will be made to provide special state dishes in a more refined and presentable manner.
The state tourism department is aiming to attract national and international tourists.
Deoghar deputy commissioner Mast Ram Meena said that last year about 30 lakh pilgrims visited the city and every year this number keeps swelling. More than 50 lakh people are expected to visit the mela this year.
The state has already allotted a budget of about Rs 1 crore for the event.
They plan to set up 21 camps and make all arrangements for safe drinking water and to tackle other health-related concerns. Like every year, fine sand would be laid on the path between Dumka to Deoghar on which pilgrims walk chanting “Bol-Bam”.
Chief minister Madhu Koda will inaugurate the programme. The chief secretary is likely to review arrangements of the mela on July 12 at Deoghar.
Authorities plan to contact different embassies and big tour organisers in Calcutta and Delhi so that tour packages can be worked out. State authorities plan to offer their own package, which would offer tourists a return trip from Deoghar to Dumka and Tarapith. Luxury buses would be arranged for such a trip.
Sources said the state government was also toying with the idea of having a mela samiti on the UP pattern. This committee, like the one for Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, will take care of the arrangements after all finances are provided to it.
Presently all the departments separately give funds for the mela and chances of confusion and duplication are plenty. The revenue department has been asked to prepare a similar proposal so that this new system can be started from next year.