Record 10 million pilgrims visit Vaishno Devi shrine (Lead)

December 29th, 2011 - 12:50 am ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Dec 28 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Wednesday hailed all those who made it to the Vaishno Devi Shrine, with 10 million pilgrims offering prayers there in a single calendar year for the first time.

Rakesh Vishwakarama, a doctor from Jaipur, Rajasthan, became the 10 millionth pilgrim to visit the Hindu shrine in Jammu and Kashmir in 2011.

Abdullah first posted on Twitter: “For the first time ever the number of pilgrims to Mata Vaishno Devi crossed the 1 Cr mark for a calendar year.”

“Hats off to all those who make this pilgrimage such a smooth affair for so many lakhs of pilgrims,” the chief Minister said in another tweet.

This was a tribute to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, that during its 25 years of existence, has made the pilgrimage a showcase of crowd management in the most challenging terrain and weather conditions.

The cave shrine is situated at the height of 5,200 feet above sea level in Trikuta hills, 50 km from Jammu.

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