| Crowd outside Mahavir Mandir in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Mahavir Mandir has made elaborate arrangements to welcome devotees on January 1.
Every year, lakhs of people visit the temple on the New Year to seek the blessings of lord Hanuman.
“After Ram Navami, the first day of New Year draws a huge footfall. From morning, people start pouring in at the temple. Thus, we have made special arrangements to deal with the rush,” said Mahavir Sansthan Nyas Samiti secretary Acharya Kishore Kunal.
Sharing the arrangement details he said: “In 2013, New Year fell on a Tuesday. We had prepared around 13,000kg of Naivedyam ladoo for the day. The New Year this time has fallen on Wednesday. So, the number of sweets will be fewer. We would make around 10,000kg. For the convenience of devotees, we would open six temporary counters outside the temple where ladoos would be available. The main counter on the temple premises would remain closed on New Year.”
Shri Hanuman Puja generally begins on a Tuesday and is completed the following Tuesday.
On the security preparations, Kunal said: “Around 60 men and 20 women constables would be deputed. There would be 40 private security guards and 10 temple management volunteers to guide the devotees. The devotees would have to pass through doorframe metal detectors and also the hand-held metal detector. Closed-circuit television cameras have been installed at 14 locations in and outside the temple.”
There would be separate queues for men and women. He said the temple gate would open at 4.30am on January 1 and the western and the eastern gates would be closed for the day. “Devotees will be allowed to enter the temple through the northern gate. They can also perform special rituals such as Rudrabhishek and Satyanarayan but only after 2pm,” the secretary said.
The temple would also introduce a new prasad for devotees from January 15.