The month-long Chaitra mela (fair) got under way at the Baba Balak Nath shrine in Deothsidh on Friday. Amid chanting of religious hymns and slogans, thousands of devotees visited the temple.
Deputy commissioner Rohan Chand Thakur declared the fair open and also performed puja at the shrine. He was accompanied by other senior district officials who visited the cave and unfurled a red flag atop the temple.
Since Thursday night there has been a heavy rush of devotees, who visited the cave of Baba Balak Nath.
Women, who are barred from entering the cave, were however allowed to have a glimpse from a platform erected by the temple authorities.
“The necessary arrangements have been made and adequate police personnel have been deployed to manage the big crowds and maintain law and order,” Thakur said. “There are eight inns in the temple's vicinity, more or less adequate to accommodate the pilgrims. Well over a million pilgrims from Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh are expected to visit the temple during the fair,” he added.
He said the temple will remain open 24 hours except during cleaning operations.
Meanwhile, Deotsidh is humming with religious fervour after arrival of devotees here. Shops and houses are decorated and many have been spuced up for the fair.