Vaishnodevi shrine expects 2 mn devotees during Navratra

Jammu: The cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district is expected to witness a foot-fall of two million pilgrims during this year’s Navratri festival beginning from September 21, officials said.

The Tourism department in collaboration with various NGOs and private parties have planned a series of religious, cultural, sports and folk events over the 9-day festival period to attract tourists from across the country.

Minister of State for Tourism Priya Sethi is set to unveil the calendar of activities of a mega Navratra festival in Jammu region at the Sidhra Golf Course here today. The Navratra festival is an annual festival in Jammu region.

“We have put in place all the arrangements for a mega 9- day long Navratra festival in the region particularly at the Katra, basecamp of Cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi. After many years, this year’s festival will be a mega one to attract the pilgrims and tourists from across the world,” Sethi said.

“Last year, a total of 77 lakh pilgrims visited the shrine to pay their obeisance. This year, we have 57 lakh tourist arrivals at the shrine so far but we are expecting over 20 lakh more tourists during the Navratra festival,” Director of Tourism Jammu Smita Sethi told PTI.

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