Five-day Mudiya Poonau Fair In Goverdhan Concludes
Goverdhan, July 17 (TNA) District officials heaved a sigh of relief, as the five day annual Mudiya Poonau fair ended in Goverdhan late Thursday night, with an estimated crowd of 2.5 crore devotees performing the Parikrama of the holy Goverdhan Parbat that Sri Krishna lifted on his little finger to save the Brajbasis from the wrath of Indra Dev.
This fair is described a a mini Kumbh. For five days continuously a stream of devotees worshipped and performed the ritualistic Parikrama, singing bhajans and dancing. Lakhs of pilgrims from different parts of India, including NRIs, formed part of the the sea of humanity that almost deluged the holy Goverdhan ‘Parbat.’
The five-day festival concluded on Thursday with a procession of saints and members of the Gaudiya sect. Locals say the total number of pilgrims this year could easily cross five million.
Pilgrims were generally satisfied with the arrangements this year. Fewer traffic jams were witnessed as vehicles were not allowed. Goverdhan, 20 kms from Mathura district headquarters, is a tehsil, connected by rail and good roads with Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, UP and MP.
Those coming from Punjab and Haryana, take the Yamuna Expressway, via Vrindavan. The bypass and newly-laid roads all around, with adequate parking slots, have made it convenient for visitors to reach Goverdhan this year,” a district official said.
Despite the hot and sultry weather, there was no loss of josh and devotion, as lakhs of devotees continued their Parikrama chanting devotional songs to the sounds of dholak sand manjeera. Lakhs took a holy dip in the Mansi Ganga pond in the middle of the town.
“After the Kumbh, this is the second biggest ‘mela’ (festival) in the state,” another local priest, Hari Kishan, said. After Vrindavan, Goverdhan, is now becoming a round-the-year spiritual hub of Krishna devotees.
With increasing influx of non-resident Indians (NRIs) and high income group pilgrims from the metros, the town, which once had night stay facilities run only by temples and religious institutions, is now home to smaller hotels and a row of roadside ‘dhabaas’ (restaurants).
The spill over of the crowd from Goverdhan has benefitted other shrines of Braj Mandal including Vrindavan. The infrastructural development projects in Mathura district, for the convenience of crores of visitors round the year, have benefitted the local tourism industry.
UP chief minister Yogi Aditya Nath, has visited Mathura and Vrindavan on a regular basis to speed up development projects. Goverdhan is perhaps the only pilgrim centre that records the highest number of devotees in India round the year for ‘parikrama,” said Ravi Baba, a priest.
Goverdhan is high on the priority list of the Uttar Pradesh government which has embarked on a massive construction spree, building by-passes, new roads, adding pilgrim shelters and providing street lighting along the parikrama route.