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Thousands throng Vaishno Devi shrine on first Navratri

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Shat Chandi Yagya sets tone for celebrations


JAMMU: Thousands of devotees from across the country thronged the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir as the nine-day long ‘Chaitra Navratri’ commenced on Tuesday.
‘Shat Chandi Maha Yagya’, a special havan organised by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), was performed at the holy cave amidst the serene aura besides other rituals on the auspicious occasion, a spokesperson of the board said.
He said the sacred rituals at the shrine, located atop Trikuta hills, spanning across the Navratri are being performed to foster harmony, abundance and good health for all.
Anshul Garg, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board; K. K. Sharma, Member, SMVDSB; Vikas Anand, SDM Bhawan; other officers and staff of the Shrine Board, besides a large number of pilgrims were present on the occasion.
The Yagya ceremony is being telecasted live on MH1 Shraddha from 12 Noon to 1 PM daily during Navratras.
The intricate floral arrangements, coupled with traditional motifs and embellishments, have been enhancing the divine ambiance of the shrine while evoking a sense of reverence and joy among the visiting devotees.
The Shrine Board has also made elaborate arrangements as per directions of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, , Chairman SMVDSB, for facilitating a large number of pilgrims who are expected to pay their obeisance at the Sanctum Sanctorum during Navratras. These arrangements include round the clock water and power supply all along the tracks leading to the Shrine, sanitation, medicare and availability of special “fast related” food at the Board’s Bhojanalayas. Besides, all the routes leading to the Holy Cave Shrine are fully maintained for smooth movement of pilgrims.
The illumination of the Bhawan area with attractive and colourful lights has also been done. For the ease and comfort of pilgrims, facilities like the accommodation, battery operated vehicles, passenger ropeway and helicopter services are operating smoothly. The Shrine Board has also made arrangements for free food for the pilgrims at Tarakote Marg, Prasad Kendra at Sanjichatt, besides free Langar Sewa at Bhairon Ji.
To facilitate the smooth pilgrimage of Divyang pilgrims, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board is also providing free pony and battery car services to ensure their journey to holy shrine without hindrance.
Other special features of arrangements during these Navratra are Bhajan and Bhaint performances during morning and evening Atka Aarti by the renowned artists.
CEO Shrine Board is constantly reviewing and monitoring the regulation of Yatra along with other arrangements all along the track and in the Bhawan Area and interacting with the pilgrims enquiring about the facilities made by the Shrine Board for their facilitation.

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