Jammu: The cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Trikuta hills of Jammu and Kashmir experienced overnight rainfall but failed to dampen the spirit of pilgrims who came from various parts of the country to pay their obeisance at the shrine.
Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and several inter-district roads also got blocked due to heavy snowfall in various districts in the state.
"Several inches of snowfall have taken place at various places including the main Bhawan (sanctum sanctorum) but it has failed to have any impact on the enthusiasm of the pilgrims," an official of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board said.
He said that the pilgrimage to the holy shrine was going on unabated.
"In fact, the pilgrims are enjoying the snowfall as many of them are witnessing it for the first time," he said.
The official said that elaborate heating arrangements have been kept in place for the pilgrims in view of the drop in temperature following snowfall in the upper reaches of Jammu region.
Meanwhile, in the wake of heavy snowfall in the Kashmir Valley and the upper reaches of Jammu division, the strategic Jammu Srinagar National Highway continues to be closed for the second day today.
"There has been heavy snowfall at various places along the Jammu Srinagar National Highway. At several places including Banihal and Jawahar tunnel, there has been several feet of snow," SSP Traffic National Highway Sanjay Kotwal said.
He said that no commercial or private vehicles were stranded on the highway.
"As the snowfall began yesterday we made sure to evacuate the stranded vehicles. Since then, we also made sure that no fresh vehicle was allowed to ply on the highway," he said.
The SSP said that even as heavy snow clearing machinery was deployed to clear the highway, any decision to throw the highway open for vehicles would be taken only after the snowfall stops.
Kotwal said that several other highways including the Jammu Doda highway has also been closed for vehicular traffic.
"There has been heavy snowfall in Bhaderwah, Doda and Kishtwar and the highways there too have been closed," he said.