65,000 visited Vaishno Devi shrine on two days of Navratri

October 2nd, 2008 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Oct 2 (IANS) Over 65,000 pilgrims visited the Hindu cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi near here on the first two days of Navaratri, an official said Thursday.”Over 65,000 pilgrims from various parts of the country have visited the holy cave shrine during the first two days of Navratras,” an official spokesperson said.

With this, the number of pilgrims who paid their obeisance at the shrine from Jan 1 this year has gone up to about five million. In the month of September, as many as 413,840 pilgrims visited the holy cave shrine.

“Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has made special arrangements for performing `havan’ and `puja’ at Bhawan during Navratras,” the spokesperson said.

The board has also arranged `ChattChandi Yagya’ at the shrine coinciding with the Navratras. Besides, `Devi Bhagwati Paath’ is being recited during the Navratras, he added.

A large number of priests were performing prayers which would conclude on Mahanavmi Oct 8 with `puran ahooti’ ceremony.

The state tourism department along with the board has organised a nine-day festival at Katra, the base camp of the pilgrimage.

One of the main attraction of the ongoing festival was all India devotional song competition being held at Yog Ashram complex, Katra.

The winners of the contest would be awarded trophies and prizes each day while Oct 8 the winner would get gold worth Rs.100,000.

Officials said that a wrestling competition was also being held and wrestlers from Pakistan would participate Oct 5.

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