Early Times Report
Jammu, June 5: Setting a new record this year in the first five months, more than 38 lakhs pilgrims have visited the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine nestled in Trikuta Hills of Katra town in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Official sources on Monday said that in view of summer vacations, presently there is a huge rush in the Katra town and pilgrims are leaving for the Bhawan to pay obeisance at the cave shrine.
“This year so far in the first five months, 38.47 lakh (38,47,584) pilgrims have visited the cave shrine,” said an official.
He stated that the figure is higher if compared this p[eriod of 2022, in which 34,67,222 pilgrims visited the cave shrine.
Sharing the details, the official said that in January 5,24,189 pilgrims, in February 4,14,432, in March, 8,94,650, in April 10,18,540 and in May 9,95,773 pilgrims visited the Bhawan to offer prayers. Amidst the chants of ‘Jai Mata Di’, around 35,000 to 40,000 pilgrims are every day arriving at Katra.
Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Anshul Garg said that likewise every year, heavy footfall of pilgrims to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine is expected for which all arrangements are being reviewed time to time and put in place.
Garg said that presently on weekdays, 35,000 to 40,000 pilgrims are reaching on a daily basis at Katra and the figure exceeds on the weekends.
The CEO added that the Shrine Board is geared up with foolproof measures to ensure the best pilgrimage experience to the visiting devotees as the burgeoning of devotees is anticipated at the Holy Shrine over the next couple of months located in Trikuta Hills of Katra town in Reasi.
“Action is taken on diverse fronts for hassle free pilgrimage during coming days including issuance and verification of RFID cards, effective crowd management, augmentation of holding areas on the track and in Katra town, working out plans for decongestion of the entire track, particularly the Bhawan area, separation of entry, exit routes at Bhawan,” he said.
Garg also revealed that all time surveillance has to be done through a dedicated CCTV network of over 700 cameras.
Meanwhile the Northern Railways has also started three special trains from New Delhi to Katra from June 2 to July 30.
“Three summer special trains from New Delhi to Jammu to Katra have started operating from June 2 to cater to the rush of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims,” official sources said.