Sehore (Madhya Pradesh): The arrangements made by the administration crumbled, as number of devotees swelled to 20 lakh during Rudraksha Mahotsav at Kubereshwar Dham in Hema Chitwalia, Sehore district, on Thursday.
It was the first day of the seven-day religious event in which Rudrakshas are distributed among devotees. Well-known Katha Vachak (religious preacher) Pradeep Mishra organises the festival every year.
Mishra also recites the Shivpuran, a religious text, on the occasion.
Thousands of four-wheelers, trucks and two-wheelers got stuck in the jam for hours from the morning. The traffic gridlock was as long as 20 km from Amloha Toll to Choupal Sagar on the Indore-Bhopal highway.
As the day slipped past, the area began to turn into a sea of humanity.
The district administration, together with the temple committee, has been working for the past three months, so that there may not be any problems for the devotees.
The officials of the district administration also claimed that there would not be any problem, but as the festival began, their tall claims fell flat.
There was shortage of food, toilets and drinking water on the temple premises. Tired of standing for a long time, many people were lying on the road.
Because of the huge crowd, the distribution of Rudraksha had to be stopped.
Many separated from one another
Those who came to the site by private vehicles were asked to park their cars a few kilometers away from the tent where the main event was being held. Consequently, many devotees got separated from their relatives and friends.
As they began to search for their dear ones, a chaos prevailed everywhere.
Devotees relate their tale of woes
In search of her relatives, an elderly woman, a resident of Pipria, reached a petrol pump in Housing Board colony Sehore. A resident from the Akola area in Maharashtra, Vikas Janjal, said he was with 50 people but all of them separated from one another. There were no arrangements for food, he said.
Similarly, a devotee from Bharatpur in Rajasthan, Raj Kumari, was standing with her 28-year-old physically challenged son who was sitting on a wheelchair. She came to get Rudraksha which she believes will cure her son. She came to know about Kubereshwar Dham from a YouTube channel. Raj Kumari who thought that Rudraksha would cure her son was disappointed after getting stuck in a traffic jam.
In the same way, a resident from Nagpur, Manorama Thakre, said she had come to know that Rudraksha would rid her of all the problems. She has come for a piece of such a cure-all item as Rudraksha, but there is neither any toilet nor any staying arrangement. She also did not get Rudraksha.
Event at a glance
* Ten lakh people can be accommodated.
* All hotels, lodges and Dharmashalas are booked.
* 48 lakh Rudrakhas will be distributed
* Pandal has been set up on 52 acres.
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