Navratra festival; Pawan Gupta participates in 8th day celebrations

KATRA, OCTOBER 21: One of the most popular event of the ongoing Navratra Festival “All India Devotional Song Competition” is attracting large crowds including pilgrims and locals, as the contest enters the final phase.

Thousands turned up at the venue – the Yog Ashram, Katra, to watch semi-final round, and cheer up for their favourite contestants, last evening.

The competition forms part of the ongoing nine day festival being organized with support of the State Tourism Department, District Administration and Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Finance & IT, Pawan Kumar Gupta, who was the Chief Guest on the 8th day of Navratra Festival 2015, witnessed Devotional Song competition and participated in Shoba Yartra.

In the Semi Final round, around 27 contestants, enthralled the audience by singing devotional songs in Hindi, Punjabi and Dogri.  The semi finalists were the singers who bagged 2nd and 3rd position in preliminary rounds held during Oct 13 through Oct 19 2015.

At the end of the round, only six singers entered the Mega final including Viva Bharti  from Kathua ,Suresh Kumar from Udhampur, Reema Devi from Kanyala, Jammu, Sukhjinderjeet  from Amritsar, Shivankar Bharti  from Jammu  and Rakesh Deol from Mumbai .

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister complemented the Managing Committee of Navratra Festival and other organizers for extending their cooperation in making the event a success.  He said that the annual festival is gaining prominence at national and international level which is good for promotion of tourism in the State.

The event provides a platform to budding artists from across the country which would go a long way in achieving the underlining objective of promotion of tourism. “I feel proud and blessed to watch an event like All India Devotional Song Competition here, which have fetched Katra international recognition“ he added. He said the festival would also help in diverting large number of pilgrims to other important pilgrim and tourist destinations in the area .

The grand finale of the All India Devotional Song Competition will be held on October 21, 2015 and winner will be awarded with Rs 2 Lakh, Gold Coin of the Goddess and a recording contract with Venus Records & Tapes Ltd.

President, All India Devotional Song Committee, Katra, Rakesh Wazir conducted the proceedings of the programs in a most professional manner.

Earlier, the Minister accompanied by MLA Reasi, Ajay Nanda lit the sacred Jyoti near Asia chowk,  Katra which was taken out in the form of a colourful procession with jhankies depicting rich cultural heritage of the State. The procession after passing through bazaars of the holy Katra town culminated at the venue of Devotional Song Competition.

MLA Reasi, while speaking on the occasion, highlighted developmental requirements of Katra township.  He stressed on augmentation of drinking water supply and provision for proper disposal of garbage.

Responding to demands, the Minister said that genuine issues would be redressed on priority, in a phased manner. Minister also extended Navratra greeting to the people amid chanting of slogans in praise Goddess Bhagwati. He also prayed for peace, prosperity and development of the State.

Among others, ADDC Reasi, Bhawani Singh Rukwal, SSP Reasi, Surjit Kumar, Deputy Director Tourism, Jammu,   Addl SP, Katra, Members of Navratra Festival Committee including Varinder Kesar, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Sardari Lal Dubey, Surinder Khajuria and people in large numbers were present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the comedy show  “Hassaya Vayang” concluded at Bus Stand Katra last evening.

SSP Traffic, Jammu, Mohan Lal   and SSP Reasi, Sujit Kumar were special guests on the occasion. Artists of the show gave an excellent performance through their hilarious poetry full with wit and humor.

Among others, President, Hassaya Vayang Manch, executive members of the Manch, prominent citizens and large number of pilgrims were also present on the occasion.

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