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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Fair and fireworks at Belur Math

From trinkets, baubles, bags, utensils and other household items to ice cream, cotton candy, groundnuts and fresh fried jalebis — Belur Math premises were chock-a-block with vendors, hawkers and buyers. It was like a village mela. Visitors checked out the items on sale, bargaining hard with the vendors who, in turn, were determined not lose a paisa at the one-day fair.

About 700 vendors and 200 hawkers were selling their wares right from GT Road crossing to the Belur Math jetty ghat. The occasion was the annual fair or utsav organised to observe Ramakrishna Param-hansadev’s 178th birth anniversary.

The fair was held on Sunday, March 17, following the tithi puja held on March 13. By afternoon, there was hardly any place to move on the math premises. The crowd increased after a light shower in the evening that cooled temperatures by a few degrees.

The footfall through the day was close to 1,25,000 as reported by the Howrah City Police that had deployed 325 police personnel around the math for crowd control and security. Enhanced transport facilities helped devotees reach Belur Math with ease. The number of Calcutta Surface Transport Corporation (CSTC) buses to Belur Math from Calcutta and other places was increased as was the number of trains from Howrah Station to Belur Math station.

Like every year, the fireworks display was the greatest attraction. Fireworks were set off from a barge in the middle of the Hooghly. People watched the show from Belur Math ghat and other nearby ghats. Some hired boats for a better view.