Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar embarked on a visit to Gaya during the Pitrapaksh Mela, performing rituals at the Vishnupad temple and interacting with Nalanda University students, amidst tight security arrangements.
Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar is set to embark on a significant visit to the city of Gaya on Friday, marking the second day of the fortnight-long Pitrapaksh Mela, a sacred period of ancestor veneration in Hindu tradition. During his visit to Gaya, Vice-President Dhankhar will also continue his journey to Nalanda, where he is scheduled to interact with the students of the renowned Nalanda University.
The Vice-President’s schedule was confirmed by Nalanda University’s vice-chancellor, Abhay Kumar Singh, who stated, “He will interact with the students and the teachers at an open house session around 1 pm.”
Vice-President Dhankhar is expected to arrive at Gaya Airport on Friday morning via a helicopter. From there, he will proceed to the revered Vishnupad temple by road. At the Vishnupad temple, the Vice-President and his wife, Sudesh Dhankhar, will partake in rituals aimed at seeking salvation for the departed souls of their ancestors. This will include offering prayers at the footprint of Lord Vishnu in the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, followed by the performance of “tarpan” at Gaya Ji dam.
District Magistrate Thiyagarajan SM announced that Vice-President Dhankhar is likely to stay in Gaya for approximately three hours, emphasizing that tight security arrangements have been made for his visit. Police personnel will be deployed along the routes to be used by the Vice-President’s cavalcade.
As part of the security measures, traffic for the general public will be temporarily blocked during certain periods. Specifically, the route from the airport to Bengali Ashram via Narayani Bridge will be closed to traffic from 9:15 am to 9:35 am. Later, after the ritual proceedings, Vice-President Dhankhar will return to the airport by road, with traffic from Sikaria Mor to the airport being restricted from 12 noon to 12:30 pm.
The Pitrapaksh Mela, which began on the previous day with the ceremonial lighting of a lamp by state revenue minister Alok Mehta and agriculture minister Kumar Sarvajeet on the premises of Vishnupad temple, is expected to draw over 15 lakh pilgrims from across India and abroad. This fortnight-long event holds great spiritual significance for those observing it.
In a noteworthy development, on Saturday, women devotees from Russia and Ukraine will perform “pinddaan” in Gaya. Natalya Safronova, a volleyball player from Russia, will lead a group of 49 women devotees, including 13 from Ukraine, during these rituals. Their participation adds a global dimension to the sacred observances during Pitrapaksh Mela in Gaya.
Vice-President Dhankhar’s visit is a significant event that underscores the cultural and spiritual significance of the region, with the promise of engaging interactions with students at Nalanda University.