Jammu, Mar 22: The nine-day long Hindu festival of Navratri began with much fervour on Wednesday.
The Chaitra Navratri festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine avatars and today marks the first day of the festivity (Kalash or Ghatsthapna). The festival is celebrated with much fervour all across the country by Hindus.
Devotees flocked to the Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir atop the Trikuta hills in Jammu and Kashmir’s Katra on the first day besides other shrines including Bawe Wali Mata temple in Bahu Fort, Surkala Devi in Billawar, Kathua, Chichi Mata Mandir , Samba, Chanote Mata in Bhaderwah, Doda, Pringila Devi in Udhampur etc.
The administration has put in place all necessary arrangements to meet the heavy rush of devotees, officials said.
Meanwhile, amidst the Vedic hymns, religious chants and performance of other religious ceremonies, Shat Chandi Maha Yagya organised by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) at the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji on beginning of Chaitra Navratras.
Anshul Garg, Chief Executive Officer, SMVDSB and other officers and staff of the Shrine Board, besides a large number of pilgrims were present on the occasion.
The Yagya ceremony is being telecasted live on MH1 Shradha from 11.30 AM to 12.30 PM daily during Navratras.
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has made grand decorations at Bhawan, Atka and the area surrounding it for the large number of pilgrims visiting during ongoing Navratras to pay obeisance at the Holy shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi ji.
The decorations are made with indigenous-foreign fruits and flowers, as well as huge reception doors and pandals have been installed in the Bhawan Area.
Likewise, the illumination of the Bhawan area with attractive and colourful lights has also been done.
The breathtaking and festive decorations are a special visual delight for pilgrims who trek about 12 km from Katra to Bhawan.
The Shrine Board has also made elaborate arrangements for facilitating a large number of pilgrims who are expected to pay their obeisance at the Sanctum Sanctorum during Navratras. (KNO)
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