Darchula: In a gesture of religious reverence, Shailyashikhar Municipality and Malikarjun Rural Municipality in Darchula district have declared a two-day public holiday, commencing today. This decision is in observance of the annual Jatra at Malikarjun Dham, renowned as the seventh Dham of the country. The religious event takes place every year on Kartik Sukla Trayodashi and Chaturdashi, drawing pilgrims from both Nepal and India.
The festivities include a grand Jatra at Malikarjuna Dham, continuing until the morning of Kartik Shukla Purnima. Recognizing the significance of this sacred occasion, government and non-government agencies, educational institutions, and other establishments within the jurisdiction of Shailyashikhar Municipality and Malikarjun Rural Municipality have granted a two-day reprieve.
Contrary to this, Mahakali Municipality in the district has opted not to declare a holiday. However, two public schools within Mahakali Municipality have independently decided to observe a two-day public holiday, citing the importance of Shri Rashtriya Mabi Dattu and Shri Malikarjun Naman Mavi Dhap.
Malikarjun Dham holds immense spiritual importance, with pilgrims believing that their wishes will be granted upon visiting the temple. The surge in devotees has prompted heightened security measures within the temple management complex. Chief of Police, Shiv Bahadur Singh, revealed that a robust security deployment comprising 200 Nepal Police personnel, 80 Armed Police, and 300 additional policemen, under the aegis of the District Police Office Darchula, aims to ensure peace and security throughout the Jatra. Six inspectors have been strategically placed for security operations three days prior to the commencement of the pilgrimage.
In adherence to the sanctity of the occasion, the authorities have implemented a complete prohibition on alcohol. Just yesterday, law enforcement seized a truckload of liquor as part of their efforts to maintain order and reverence during the religious festivities.