|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Sept 28: Rahul Sahai, Chair of the PHDCCI Jammu, recently held a crucial meeting with Anshul Garg, CEO of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, to discuss strategies aimed at extending the stays of pilgrims in Jammu. Sahai emphasized the need for enhanced coordination between the Tourism Department of Jammu, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, and district administrations to achieve this goal, ultimately benefitting the local economy.
Sahai highlighted that Jammu, often referred to as the “City of Temples,” is home to various tourist destinations, with the revered Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Temple being the most prominent attraction drawing religious tourists. He proposed that other lesser-known but equally captivating places, such as the Jamboo Zoo, Sri Venkateshwara Swamy Temple (known as Tirupati Balaji Temple) in Sidhra, Jammu Tawi Golf Course, Beating Retreat at Suchetgarh, Gandola at Jammu, Raghunath Temple, Bawe Mata Temple, Bagh e Bahu Light & Sound Show, Kol Kandoli Temple, Patnitop, Sanasar, Bani, Basoli, Kishtwar, Bhaderwah tourist destinations, International Yoga Centre at Mantalai, and Shiv Khori, should be promoted in and around Katra.
Sahai noted the absence of hoardings along the Nandani-Katra road to showcase Jammu’s tourist destinations, suggesting the need for vibrant promotion through LED screens displaying videos of these attractions in Katra bazaars, Ban Ganga to Bhawan road, Katra Railway Station, and other key locations.
He proposed leveraging the data collected at Yatra slip counters, which includes pilgrims’ mobile numbers, email addresses, and other details, to send comprehensive information about Jammu’s attractions via WhatsApp and email. Additionally, physical pamphlets should be distributed to pilgrims, containing links for booking accommodations and activities, facilitating easier planning for extended stays in Jammu.
Anshul Garg, IAS, CEO of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, expressed appreciation for Sahai’s suggestions and assured that the necessary steps would be taken to implement them. Garg also noted that the government shares the view that pilgrims should spend more time in Jammu and Katra, and welcomed further input from organizations like PHDCCI. He encouraged the planning of programs to deliberate on this issue and enhance the overall pilgrim experience.