Special guidelines restrict entry of people to the main beach before 6 a.m
With stringent guidelines meant for beach visitors still in force at Manginapudi Beach here, no one turned up here to take a holy dip following the lunar eclipse.
The location, barely 10 km away from Machilipatnam town, was once known for a huge gathering on the very next morning of a lunar or solar eclipse. Villagers close to the beach and visitors from far and near used to turn out in large numbers to take a ritual bath in connection with lunar eclipse.
But, the special guidelines restricting entry of people to the main beach before 6 a.m., left the believers to look for an alternative way to take the ritual bath following a lunar or solar eclipse. “There was no exception on Saturday to allow the visitors or devotees who wanted to take their bath. The same policemen were on duty,” Machipatnam Deputy Superintendent of Police K. Lavanya Lakshmi said. Visitors, who had made up their mind to take a holy bath on the beach, had to head towards Pedapatnam, which is very close to Manginapudi. On the other hand a good number of visitors from far away places were seen on the Manginapudi beach in the evening.
Despite the liberalisation of security guidelines to attract the visitors, restriction of visitors before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m. on the beach is still continuing to disappoint them, particularly those coming from long distance and wanting to spend their holiday here. Visitors, however, felt that a visit to the beach was best suited to the tourists during the ‘visit restriction timing’, before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Small-time vendors and businessmen had been asking the district administration to relax the restrictions by taking adequate safety measures.