Pakistani Hindus at Vaishno Devi shrine

April 8th, 2008 - 2:09 pm ICT by admin  

Jammu, April 8 (IANS) In what is a first, more than 50 Hindus from Pakistan have crossed the border to pay obeisance at the famed shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi near this Jammu and Kashmir winter capital. Though the group of 52, mostly from Sindh, are also visiting other religious places, it is the first time that pilgrims from Pakistan have been allowed into Jammu and Kashmir for a visit to the shrine, about 60 km from here in the Trikuta hills.

With the Navratras, the nine holy days according to the Hindu calendar, on, this is considered the most auspicious period for seeking blessings of the deity.

“All Pakistanis have started climbing the track from Katra Tuesday morning,” Alok Puri, deputy inspector general of police Udhampur-Reasi range, told IANS.

The devotees from Pakistan had arrived in Katra, the base camp of the shrine, Monday evening, to an enthusiastic welcome from local residents.

“It was nice to have the people from Pakistan for the first time for the visit to Vaishno Devi,” hotelier Jugal Sharma said.

The shrine, located at a height of 5,400 ft, attracts more than 7.5 million pilgrims annually from all over India and abroad.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in National |