14-kosi Parikrama begins in Ayodhya

Ayodhya: The 14-kosi Parikrama started here today with lakhs of pilgrims undertaking a round of the periphery of the holy city to worship Lord Rama, even as tight security arrangements were made for the occasion.

Around 12 lakh devotees undertook the 'parikrama', said SP (City) R A Gautam. He said tight security arrangements have been made for the event as 10 companies of PAC and two companies of CRPF, besides 2,000 civil policemen have been deployed.

Large numbers of sadhus and devotees from the city as well as far off places were seen taking part in the 'parikrama' as sounds of chants, religious songs and bells filled the air. The Parikrama festival continues for five days. Meanwhile, the festival this time presented a beautiful picture of communal harmony as at several places Muslims were seen offering drinking water to Hindu devotees, trying to make their journey easier.

"We know the pain of thirst. So we decided to arrange various drink stalls on the route of 'parikrama' to give relief to thirsty devotees," said Hasan Wasti who was serving water at a stall. "We want to strengthen the Hindu-Muslim unity as in the
last couple of months we have heard many such incidents which have created differences between the communities. We want the Ganga-Jamuni culture to flourish here," said another youth Aafaaq Ahmad.

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