Wed, 31 May 2023

Katra (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 21 (ANI): Adorned with thousands of multi-hued flowers, the holy cave shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi is all set to host pilgrims expected to visit it in large numbers during the ensuing nine-day Navratra beginning from March 22.

Jammu and Kashmir LG Manoj Sinha who is also the Chairman of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, earlier on March 18 announced dedicated a five-storey Durga Bhawan to the pilgrims.

Chaitra Navratri is a nine-day festival dedicated to the worship of the nine incarnations of Maa Durga - Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri.

It is observed in the first month of the Hindu lunar calendar, known as Chaitra. Therefore, the Navratri observed in this period is known as Chaitra Navratri. Additionally, Chaitra month is also the beginning of the Hindu New Year.

Hindus also observe Ram Navami on the ninth day.

The building has provision to accommodate 3000 pilgrims on a daily basis, bound to give a new shape and structure to the comforts and convenience of the pilgrims visiting the Holy Shrine.

"The Bhawan is equipped with free and paid accommodation alongwith washroom, locker facilities, a prasad counter and aesthetically designed Tripti Bhojanalya and buffet for providing hygienic and wholesome food at nominal rates for the convenience of the devotees," the official stamen stated.

Chief Executive Officer of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) Anshul Garg reviewed the arrangements being put in place for pilgrims on the track and other locations which include round-the-clock water and power supply along the track leading to the shrine, sanitation, medicare and availability of special "fast-related" food at the catering outlets of the Shrine Board.

The Shrine Board shall continue to deliver special facilities to the Divyangjan which includes pony and battery car services on a complimentary basis, besides, priority darshans at the sanctum sanctorum during these Navratras.

Arrangements have also been made for a 'Shat Chandi Maha Yagya' at the shrine for peace, prosperity and good health of mankind. The 'yagya' will be telecast live from 11.30 AM to 12:30 PM every day during Navratra. In addition, there will be 'bhajan' and 'bhaint' performances by renowned artists during morning and evening Atka Aarti to add a spiritual fervour for the visiting pilgrims. It is pertinent to mention that the Aatka Aarti area stands remodelled to accumulate over 500 pilgrims in every session, thus doubling the existing capacity.

Garg has asked all area and unit heads and engineers of the board to personally take stock of the arrangements on the ground in their respective areas of responsibility on a daily basis and ensure sanitation and cleanliness besides other requisite arrangements.

"We have to double our efforts to meet the rising expectations of pilgrims so that they go back with a pleasant experience and happy memories," an official statement said quoting Garg.

He further appealed to the pilgrims that all the pilgrim-centric facilities including helicopter tickets, battery car, accommodation, Aarti Darshan, Havan and donations can be booked online through the Official Website of Shrine Board: and MATA VAISHNO DEVI APP, only.

He also said all routes leading to the holy shrine must be fully maintained for the smooth movement of pilgrims apart from ensuring sufficient supplies of provisions, food, water, etc, along the track. (ANI)

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