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Lucknow gears up for 'Bada Mangal' festival

IANS | May 08, 2023 05:24 PM

LUCKNOW: All Hanuman temples in the state capital are being spruced up for the 'Bada Mangal' festival that is celebrated on every Tuesday during the Hindu month of Jyestha.

The festival, interestingly, was celebrated only in Lucknow but is now being held in other parts of the state as well.

This year Bada Mangal will fall on May 9, 16, 23 and 30.

According to the popular legend, the tradition was started by Janab-e-Alia, the Hindu wife of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah, in the late 18th century.

"The Begum could not conceive and someone told her to pray at the Hanuman temple in Aliganj. She complied and was blessed with a son. She dreamt of a divine entity commanding her to build a Hanuman temple, so she got the old temple renovated and a new one built and thus began the Bada Mangal celebration and fair - a tradition which continues till date, " said secretary of the Aliganj Shri Mahaveerji Trust (Naya Hanuman Mandir), Rajesh Pandey.

Devotees visiting Naya Aliganj Mandir will be able to see the renovated structure of the temple.

"For the first time, women will be allowed to enter the temple from the main gate. Besides, the sanctum sanctorum has been embellished with silver. The Bhandara (community feast) will continue all day and a variety of food items will be distributed among the devotees, " said Pandey.

At Hanumant Dham, people will get to hear Agnihotri brothers reciting the Sunderkand on May 9.

"This year, we are replacing the disposable plates with clay pots, to promote the cause of environment, " said temple priest Mahant Ramsewak Das.

Several provisions have been made for devotees at Hanuman Setu Temple.

"We have arranged for an air-cooled tent from the parking till the main hall. The entry from the main entrance will, however, remain closed and a prasad of boondi laddoos will be distributed among devotees, " said secretary of the temple trust Diwaker Tripathi.

Devotees who visit the 'Lete Hue Hanuman Mandir' on Bada Mangal in traditional attire will get the opportunity for offering 'sindoor'.

A team from ISKCON will be performing during the festivities as Hanuman is considered a music lover, said temple trust president Vivek Tangdi.

"A laddoo weighing 5.25 kg will be offered as bhog every Bada Mangal. Besides, sermons related to various aspects of the social life will be part of satsang, " he added.

Meanwhile, to streamline traffic and maintain cleanliness, the Lucknow police has issued guidelines ahead of Bada Mangal.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central, Aparna Rajat Kaushik said that prior permission will have to be taken for organising 'bhandaras'. "This is a must to ensure smooth traffic flow. Section 144 has also been imposed in the city, " she said.

Devotees keen to hold 'bhandaras' should have volunteers to ensure that vehicles are parked properly. Besides, they will also be required to clean the place after the 'bhandara' gets over. "Strict action will be initiated against organisers if they do not adhere to the guidelines, " the DCP added.

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