Allahabad: Akshayvat, tree inside Akbar fort, to remain open for 11 months in a year

  • | Sunday | 31st March, 2019

ALLAHABAD: What could be termed as a major boost for the religious tourism in the Sangam city , the immortal tree inside the Akbar fort, Akshayvat, would remain open for the ‘dharshan’ (visit) for the common public. Devotees coming to the city would now be able to pay a visit to the tree and the Sarswati koop , all the year through, barring the one month when it would be closed for annual maintenance.After announcement of the Prime Minister, in a rally in the city, in December 18, common public was allowed to have dharshan of the tree which was otherwise, confined only to army and VIP as the fort is under the jurisdiction of army.Earlier the deadline for ‘open dharshan of tree’ was ending on Sunday.Later, on March 5, during the concluding function of Kumbh Mela held at Parade ground, UP CM Adityanath Yogi had announced opening of Akshayvat and Saraswai Koop for a period of 11 months every year on March 5.However, in spite of Yogi’s having declared opening of the holy Akshayvat, the 'undying' banyan tree situate inside the Akbar fort next to Sangam, for 11 months consistently in a year, there was uncertainty over the same remaining opened for devotees as the permission granted by Army, earlier this year, was ending on Sunday (March 31).While talking to TOI, Kumbh Mela Adhikari, Vijay Kiran Anand said, “The army has received the message that the dharshan of the ‘undying tree’ would continue as is presently being done and it would be responsibility of the civil police to maintain law and order and coordinate the dharshan”.The news comes as a huge boost to the tourism of the city as during Kumbh every day around one lakh devotees were visiting Akshayvat and presently, the numbers of visitors is around 2000 on weekdays and around 5000 on weekends.Head of the department of Medieval and modern history at Allahabad University (AU), Prof Yogeshwar Tiwari said, “This is the second major step that the government has taken after renaming the city as Prayagraj because it was the right of common man to have dharshan of the ‘immortal’ tree which remain confined in the fort for year’s together”.President of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), Mahant Narendra Giri said, “We all are very happy that the tree remains open for darshan for the common man given the religious importance of the tree and the koop”.“It’s a major relief for us because we have seen an increase in number of pilgrims coming to Sangam because the tree is open for them and now that it would remain open for the entire year, this will help us in our earnings”, said Dumpy, a Panda (priest) of Sangam.

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