GUWAHATI: Bowing down to the restrictions put forward by temple authorities, Naga sadhus were found moving around in clothes on the eve of the four-day Ambubachi Mela at Kamakhya temple in Guwahati on Wednesday.
Naga sadhus are ascetics who do not wear clothes and are major participants in Ambubachi mela that is held every year in Guwahati. However, the temple authorities had objected to their nudity saying that it made the pilgrims uncomfortable.
Reacting to this, Mahanta Shri Govinda Giri, one of the babas, had told the media that they would resist restrictions. He made the comments following media reports that the authorities would not allow the holy men to move around the temple naked.
"The Naga sadhus have been a part of Kamakhya since ancient times. But some people are now trying to prevent us from doing the rituals at the temple. Nobody can stop us from doing what we do,” Govinda Giri had told the media.
A confrontation between the Naga sadhus and the temple authorities was expected on Wednesday as the former were scheduled to take out a nude procession. But surprisingly, all of them were seen wearing clothes.
The Kamakhya temple authorities said they were able to convince the sadhus to wear clothes. “We told them that a section of the devotees doesn’t feel comfortable seeing them naked. We requested them to not loiter around the temple without wearing clothes and they accepted our request,” the Ambubachi Mela Organising Committee secretary, Bhaskar Sarma, told The New Indian Express.
He said some 200 Naga sadhus had arrived at the temple from across India and elsewhere till Wednesday.
The organising committee is expecting footfalls of around 25 lakh devotees during the annual fete. The state government has made elaborate security arrangements to ensure that the event passes off peacefully.