Shimla: Tens of thousands of devotees assembled in different parts of Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday and offered prayers on the onset of the nine-day "Navratras", considered an auspicious period by Hindus.
One of the busiest shrines in north India, the hilltop Naina Devi temple in Bilaspur district saw a majority of pilgrims from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.
The popular shrines of Chintpurni in Una district and Jwalaji and Brajeshwari Devi temples in Kangra district witnessed a huge rush.
"We are expecting a daily arrival of 30,000 to 40,000 devotees during the Navratras," an official at the Naina Devi shrine told IANS.
He said the temple would remain close only for two hours a day during the nine-day period.
However, the ban on offering coconuts would continue at all the prominent temples as a precautionary measure against terror attacks.
Security has been beefed up and closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed to manage the crowd in all the prominent shrines, a senior police official told IANS.