Machail Mata Yatra Begins Amid Tight Security In J&K’s Kishtwar

Machail Mata Yatra Begins Amid Tight Security In J&K’s Kishtwar
Machail Mata Yatra Begins Amid Tight Security In J&K’s Kishtwar

JAMMU, Jul 25: The annual Machail Mata pilgrimage commenced on Tuesday with hundreds of devotees paying their obeisance at the high-altitude temple in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district, officials said. Additional Director General of Police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh and Kishtwar Deputy Commissioner Devansh Yadav visited the 9705 feet high shrine in the scenic Paddar valley, also famous for its Sapphire mines. “Compared to previous years, the deputy commissioner Kishtwar has added more facilities like mobile towers to ensure better connectivity for the pilgrims besides medical facilities,” Singh told reporters.
He said adequate security arrangements are in place throughout the route for the safety of the pilgrims who are expected to come in large numbers from within and outside the Union Territory during the 43-day long yatra.
Officials said the yatra started with ceremonial ”Pratham Pooja” at the shrine which is dedicated to goddess Durga, also known by the name of ‘Kaali or Chandi’.
“All required arrangements are in place to ensure the best experience to the pilgrims who had to foot over 22 km to reach the revered temple from the base camp set up at Gulabgarh,” Yadav said. He said the district administration has also taken in hand road construction at Chishoti and on its completion by the first week of August, the track will be reduced further by almost three kilometres.
“A private telecom service provider has set up an additional tower to provide better mobile connectivity in the areas adjacent to the shrine, while a 30 KV Solar battery was installed to provide uninterrupted power supply to the shrine and the mobile towers,” he said.
He said a ‘yatri bhawan’ was set up at the base camp with a facility to accommodate 2,000 pilgrims at a minimum charge of Rs 10 per person.
The concerned departments have been entrusted with the work to ensure sanitation and hygiene in and around the langar sites for the convenience of the yatris, he said. He said the chopper facility has also started working with the start of the yatra from the base camp. The deputy commissioner said the introduction of a Micro ATM facility at six key yatra points, including Atholi, Gulabgarh, Kundail, Chishoti, Hamori, and the temple would be a great relief to the devotees and the general public alike, significantly easing monetary transactions in hitherto underserved banking areas during the Yatra period. (Agencies)