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Vaishno Devi Yatra resumes, 17,700 pilgrims proceed to Shrine

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JAMMU: Pilgrimage to the Cave Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Trikuta Hills of Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi District resumed this morning after remaining suspended for four consecutive days in view of heavy rains, with 17,700 pilgrims proceeding towards the Cave Shrine.
The pilgrimage was, however, resumed only through the old route as the two new tracks were still closed in view of landslides.
“Yatra to the Cave Shrine resumed this morning after remaining suspended for four days in view of heavy rains and bad weather conditions,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVSB) Mandeep K Bhandari said.
The Yatra has resumed only through Sanjichhat-Bhairon Temple track. The two new tracks are still closed in view of landslides, he said, adding it will take two more days to make it available for pilgrims.
“For ensuring that pilgrims cover the journey during day time only for their safety, the Yatra Slip issuance from Katra was stopped at 2:40 PM. Total number of Yatris who embarked on the journey was 17,700. The Yatra proceeded smoothly,” he said.
Bhandari visited the entire track along with officers and engineers of the Shrine Board and took stock of the ongoing work on clearing the path, restoring water and power supply and making other logistics available enroute and in Bhawan area.
The movement of the pilgrims is being continuously monitored, he said, adding that the track from Sanjichhat to Bhawan via Bhairon Temple is narrow and it involves steep climb, particularly between Bhawan and Bhairon Temple.Considering the fact that ponies cannot be allowed beyond Sanjichhat, pilgrims have been advised to start their journey via this route only if they are in good state of health and do not have any underlying cardiac or other such ailment.
The CEO informed that efforts were on to clear all the tracks leading to the Shrine and to fully restore electricity and water supply to all the establishments and tracks.
In view of landslides triggered by heavy rains, over 4,000 pilgrims were stuck at various places en route the Cave Shrine for the past few days. The Board had provided them all facilities.

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