Vaishnodevi shrine ready for Navratras amid tight security

The cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Jammu and Kashmir's Trikuta Hills is decked up for the Navratras, which will begin on Thursday amid tight security.

PTI| Updated: Sep 25, 2014, 00:02 AM IST

Katra: The cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Jammu and Kashmir's Trikuta Hills is decked up for the Navratras, which will begin on Thursday amid tight security.

The Katra base camp and the route to the shrine will have multi-pronged security with the Army patrolling the Bhawan. CCTV monitoring and heavy checking and frisking at entry and exit points will be ensured during Navratras, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Mandeep K Bhandari said.

"The Bhawan of Mata Vaishno Deviji, Atka and the areas surrounding it have been decorated with flowers. All the routes leading to the cave shrine have been fully maintained for movement of pilgrims apart from ensuring sufficient supplies of provisions, food and water on the way," he said.

The flowers have been brought from various parts of the country and some have also been imported from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and England.

The Bhawan will witness a 'Mahayagya' round-the-clock with the beginning of the Navratras and elaborate arrangements have been made for the large number of pilgrims who are likely to visit the shrine during this period.

However, in view of the devastating floods and the loss of lives in Jammu and Kashmir, this year's 'Navratra' festival is likely to be a low key affair sans festivities.

"The event shall be kept simple and on a low key," Bhandari said.

The CEO said the yatra, which was temporarily suspended on September 4 because of incessant heavy rains, was resumed on September 8 and since then it is proceeding smoothly.

In view of militant activities across the border and unprecedented floods, police officers have been asked to ensure comprehensive deployment of force, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu Zone, Rajesh Kumar said, adding there will be regular patrolling by Army, CRPF and Police.