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Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: September 19, 2002
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World Famous Pitripaksa Mela Begins Tomorrow
Gaya, 18 September (Dainik Jagran). The world famous Pitripaksa ("Ancestors Fortnight") Mela ("fair") begins this year on the day of Anant Chaturdashi ("Infinite Fourteen") on Friday 20 September and runs to the 6th of October. The Mela will be inaugurated at seven pm in the compound of the Vishnupada temple by Ashok Kumar Singh the Bihar minister for Art, Culture, Youth Work and Tourism.
This year the prominent dates in the Pitripaksa Mela are as follows - 22 September Pratipada ("First day of lunar fortnight"), 28 September Saptami ("Seventh"), 30 September Matrinavami ("Mother's ninth), 2 October Ekadashi ("eleventh") and 4 October Trayodashi ("thirteenth"). The Mela will be concluded on the 6th of October. The administation is undertaking works for the convenience of visitors to the Mela from outside including: cleaning, drinking water, lighting, health-care, security and accomodation etc. In the Mela area all the major vedis ("altars") have been cleaned and painted. The pilgrims will circulate amongst these whilst making offerings to the ancestors. This year it is hoped that around eight to ten lakhs pilgrims will attend. For the security of the pilgrims mobile and static police posts have been established in the city at Kotwali, Delha, Rampur, Railway Station, Moffasil and at outer areas at Bodhgaya, Chandauti, Civil Lines, Pretshila, and at special places in the Vishnupad temple area.
[The report then details further arrangments for the mela, such as bus routes, traffic arrangements, and restrictions on the sale of various articles, such as alcohol at the Mela.]

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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.