President visits Vaishno Devi shrine

May 27th, 2008 - 3:30 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Jammu, May 27 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil offered prayers at the Hindu shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday, officials said. The shrine is located at a height of 5,400 feet in the Shivalik range of the Himalayas, about 60 km from Jammu. It attracts more than seven million pilgrims from all over the country every year.

The president flew to the cave Tuesday morning and was there for almost 30 minutes, officials said.

Patil’s predecessor A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had also visited the shrine.

Entry to pilgrims was barred during Patil’s trip to the shrine. More than 20,000 pilgrims, who had climbed 13 km from Katra to reach Vaishno Devi, waited outside.

Patil will leave for Chandigarh on her way to Himachal Pradesh later Tuesday.

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