Katra: In view of the devastating floods and the loss of lives in Jammu and Kashmir, this year's 'Navratra' festival will be a low key affair at Katra, where the famous Vaishno Devi shrine is situated.
The decision was taken at a meeting of senior officials and members of Navratra Festival Organising Committee and Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, among others, here.
"It was unanimously decided that keeping in view the calamity which has hit the state and the loss of life and property caused by torrential rains, floods and landslides in the state, this year's Navratra festival at Katra will be without any component of festivities in it. The event shall be kept simple and on a low key," a release issued by the state administration said.
The only event which shall mark the nine-day festival worshipping Goddess Durga this year shall be 'Bhagwat Katha' at Raghunath Mandir, Katra, and prayers for the well being of all who have suffered the disaster in the state, it said.
As per tradition, 'Kalash Yatra' will be taken out from Kalika Mandir to Raghunath Mandir, Katra, at 2 pm on the first Navratra i.E. September 25 followed by the Bhagwat Katha, the release said quoting a state government official.
Thousands of devotees come to Vaishno Devi shrine every year to offer prayers. Their number increases during the Navratra festival.
The officials also discussed sanitation, fire safety measures, water and power supply, etc during the meeting.
Two-minute silence was observed to pay homage to all those who lost lives in the recent calamity in the state.