Navratras begin without hustle-bustle at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, other temples

A view of the Holy Cave of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji on the commencement of Navratras.
A view of the Holy Cave of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji on the commencement of Navratras.

Shrine Board arranges live Darshan of holy Pindis

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 25: Due to the unprecedented lockdown imposed in the wake of Corona virus outbreak, all the famous religious shrines and abodes of various manifestations of Goddess Durga, including Mata Vaishno Devi Darbar in Trikuta Hills of Katra, wore a deserted look notwithstanding commencement of nine-day holy Navratras from today.
Even as a few customary rituals amidst Pooja were performed in the holy shrines of Mata Vaishno Devi in Katra and Bawe Wali Mata in Jammu by the concerned head priests, there were no devotees and hustle-bustle. This was apparently for the first time that these famous shrines wore deserted look and that too on the first day of Chaitra Navratri, when thousands of devotees usually rush to these religious places for the Darshan.
Unlike past practice of visiting the temples and shrines , people stayed indoor and performed Pooja rituals associated with the holy Navratras by sowing of barley seeds in a pot besides observing fast and lighting of Akhand Jyot. Click here to watch video
At the holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, Shat Chandi Maha Yagya commenced today on the auspicious occasion of beginning of Navratras amidst chanting of Vedic Mantras and performance of other religious ceremonies. The Maha Yagya will conclude with Purna Ahuti on Ramanavami.
Ramesh Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board; Vivek Verma, Additional CEO and Naresh Kumar, SDM Bhawan, were present on the occasion. The Shat Chandi Maha Yagya is being be telecast from 6 PM to 7 PM daily from today onwards during the Navratras. There will be also live Darshans of Maa Vaishno Devi’s Pindi Roop every day during morning and evening Aarti.
Like in the past, the Bhawan of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, Atka and the area surrounding it have been decorated with flowers on the occasion of Navratras even as Yatra to the cave shrine has been suspended since March 18 in view of the prevailing situation due to COVIT-19. Pooja, Aarti and all other rituals are also being performed at the cave shrine as usual.
At Bawe Wali Mata temple in Jammu, Pooja and simple rituals were performed by the priest amidst lockdown and no devotees there to perform Darshan and seek blessings of Kaali Mata.
The famous Chichi Mata temple at Samba also remained closed for the devotees, who observed fast and offered prayers at their respective homes by remaining indoor due to the lockdown. Talking to the Excelsior , priest of the temple, Pandit Rakesh Sharma also appealed people to obey the Government order of lockdown and observe Navratras by staying inside their homes.
Reports from Doda district said that that first day of Chaitra Navratra was observed without the usual celebrations in Bhaderwah town, which homes several historic temples, due to restrictions on mass gatherings in the wake of Corona virus outbreak.
Vasuki Nag Temple, Gupt-Ganga Temple, Durga Mata, Chandi Mata, Sheetla and Kali Mata temples in Bhaderwah, which used to remain abuzz with devotees, especially during the Navratrs, wore a desolate look.
“We have closed doors of all the temples in Bhaderwah on the appeal of our PM Narender Modi and it is necessary to take such measures to contain the spread of the virus,” said President Shri Sanatan Dharam Sabha Bhaderwah, Yoginder Razdan.
Historic Sukrala Mata temple in Billawar and all other prominent places of worship across Jammu and Kashmir also remained closed for devotees even as Pooja and simple rituals were observed by the concerned priests on first day of the Navratras today.