Jammu temple to charge special fee for priority entry

June 1st, 2008 - 9:47 pm ICT by admin  

Jammu, June 1 (IANS) The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has started charging a fee of Rs.1,000 ($25) for special ‘darshan’ from those seeking priority entry to the cave shrine here, officials said Sunday. The affluent class of the pilgrims, hesitant to wait in the long queue at the shrine, which is attracting more than 25,000 pilgrims a day, would be charged fee for ‘atka darshan’, according to an official of the shrine board.

“This process has started from (Saturday) midnight,” the official said.

Atka darshan allows pilgrims to sit through the prayers in the mornings and evenings in an area outside the cave. They would also be the first to offer their obeissance to the deity inside the cave after the prayers.

The idea is to “discourage” the practice of priority slips, given to a select few for jumping the queues, the official said.

There are two other types of entry fee, people entering from bathing gate would be charged Rs.500 while those entering through army gate number 7 would be charged Rs.200, the official added.

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