Pilgrims throng Karauli Devi’s shrine in Rajasthan

April 2nd, 2008 - 3:20 pm ICT by admin  

Agra, April 2 (IANS) The annual pilgrimage to the Karauli Devi temple in Rajasthan, located about 200 km from Agra, has begun. Known as the Karauli Devi or the Kaila Devi shrine, the temple is nearly 23 km away from Karauli town in Rajasthan. It is believed to have been built around 1100 AD.

The goddess is the reigning deity of millions of people in eastern Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. More than six million people flock to the shrine every year as part of an annual pilgrimage.

Described as a Kumbh fair-like congregation once a year, the pilgrims march to the shrine with red flags, singing religious songs.

“It’s a unique spectacle. Men, women and children attired in white, sporting red flags or scarves and clutching a bundle of bare necessities, troop to the temple to pray to the deity,” said Sri Mahesh, a devotee. He is providing free food to the pilgrims.

The highway along Fatehpur Sikri and Bharatpur to Jaipur overflows with pilgrims at this time of the year.

Loudspeakers blare devotional songs and the stretch is dotted with makeshift camps for rest and refreshment every kilometre.

The pilgrims will reach the shrine April 4 when the fair begins. Devotees will continue to pour in at regular intervals for a week.

The Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan governments have made additional arrangements to transport pilgrims in buses.

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