Jammu, January 06: Highest of last three years, 50,215 yatris paid obeisance to the Goddess at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine on Thursday, on New Year eve. As per the records of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine board, a total of 77,76,604 pilgrims visited holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in the year 2015.
Though there is a decline of 26,589 over 2014 and 15.47 lakh over 2013 as the total number of pilgrims who paid obeisance to natural pindies of Goddess Vaishno Devi during 2014 is 78,03,193 and 93,23,647 in 2013. The reports says that it was in 2011, when the number of pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi crossed one crore mark for the first time, it has maintained a declining trend. In 2012, the number was 1.04 crores and as compared to that, the yatra has recorded sharp decline of about 27 lakh this year. 2011 and 2012 were the only two years, when the pilgrimage had exceeded 10 million mark.
Talking of much older records, In the year 1986 when SMVDSB (Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board) has established, the pilgrimage was just 13.95 lakh. The number has increased since then and it has created new record every year but then in year 2013 and 2014, it has fallen down. There vhas been a number of reasons behind that like Kedarnath ji tragedy in 2013, tensions on the International Border since 2013 and 2014 and September flood in 2014.
In 1991, the pilgrimage crossed 3 million (31.15 lakh) mark, the million mark had reached in 1996 while the yatra reached 50 lakh in 2000 and 60 lakh in 2004. It was in 2007 that the yatra stood at 74.17 lakh. But then in 2008, it came down to 67.92 lakh, courtesy two months long Amarnath land agitation. In 2009, it went upto 82 lakh and reached 87.2 lakh in 2010. It was for the first time in 2011 that the yatra crossed 10 million mark and stood at 1.01 crore.
Here is the graphic representation of how much the yatra has declined in the last two years
The monthly breakage of number of pilgrims who paid obeisance to Mata Vaishno Devi in the year 2015, 2014, 2013 is as follows:
January- 3,59,453 in 2015; 3,71,649 in 2014; 4,36,021 in 2013.
February- 2,89,460 in 2015; 2,84,720 in 2014; 3,49,433 in 2013.
March- 6,17,785 in 2015; 6,62,889 in 2014; 7,87,659 in 2013.
April- 5,97,472 in 2015; 10,32,301 in 2013; 7,49,145 in 2014
November-5,55,019 in 2015; 4,86,971 in 2014; 5,62,160 in 2013.
December-5,00,891 in 2015; 4,09,496 in 2014; 4,68,776 in 2013.