Army opens historical sites within fort for Kumbh visitors

The Army on Thursday opened the access to the pathways that would lead visitors to the historic Patalpuri temple and the mythical Saraswati Koop, located within Akbar Fort near Sangam here. The Army's ordnance depot is located in this fort, which was built in the 16th Century.

Lieutenant General Anil Chait, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Central Command, inaugurated the pathways that lead to Saraswati Koop and other historical sites within the fort. He also reviewed the preparedness of the local unit to meet with any contingencies that could arise during Kumbh-2013, if the civil administration asks for help.

Apart from Saraswati Koop, a deep well, beneath which the mythical river Saraswati is believed to flow, visitors can also see the Akshay Vat, Patalpuri Dwar, Ganga Dwar and Patalpuri temple.

The Patalpuri temple is believed to have been visited by Lord Ram and also finds a mention in the accounts of Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang. The Akshay Vat tree is a very old banyan tree, believed to be dating back to the Mahabharat times.

The civil administration had requested the Army to open these historical sites within the fort for the visitors coming to Kumbh. A defence spokesperson said that the Army has in the past five months worked towards restoring the pathways to these sites, most of which were very old and in a bad state.

The spokesperson said that the entry to these sites would be regulated and the visitors would be able to get to visit these sites after acquiring proper passes. Carrying any photographic equipment and weapons inside the fort complex would be banned due to security reasons, he said.

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