Nearly 17 lakh pilgrims visit Mata Vaishno Devi this year

File Pic

JAMMU: Even as the pilgrimage to the world famous Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine was disrupted for five months from the period of mid of March to mid of August, nearly 17 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance at the Bhawan situated in Trikuta Hills of mountainous Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.
The pilgrimage for the first time in the history was stopped on March 18, 2020 in view of COVID pandemic and by this time, 12,52,734 pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave shrine.
In the month of January, 5,12,569, in February 3,96,683 and from 1 to 18 March, 3,43,482 pilgrims visited to the cave shrine and offered prayers but thereafter the yatra was immediately stopped in view of COVID pandemic, which forced Centre announce countrywide lockdown.
However, the yatra resumed on August 16 with all SOPs in place and the maximum cap of 500 pilgrims per day allowed visiting the cave shrine.
As per Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board official, post yatra resumption, this year, till December 27, the total number of pilgrims visited to Bhawan was 16,68,879 lakh (nearly 17 lakh).
From August 16 to 31, the number of pilgrims visited was 7253, in September, 27,427, in October, 1,21,661 and in November, 1,03,749.
In the month of October, 39,974 pilgrims paid obeisance during nine days of Navratras at the Cave Shrine.
The official further said that out of total pilgrims in this period, 15,764 were from Jammu and Kashmir and 24,210 were from outside the Union Territory.
The Shrine Board had made elaborate arrangements to facilitate the pilgrims visiting the Holy Cave Shrine during Navratras.
In September, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, who is also the Chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, launched home delivery of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Pooja Prasad for devotees who may not be able to visit the famed Hindu pilgrimage, located between three peaked mountains popularly known as ‘Trikuta’.
To get Prasad delivered home packed in sanitized boxes, a devotee can book the Pooja Prasad through Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board’s website.
In November, Mr Sinha released Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Gold and Silver coins ahead of Diwali for millions of devotees worldwide.
Lt Governor Sinha said he is fortunate to have got the opportunity to release Maa Vaishno Devi coins.
Referring to the coins, the Lt Governor said, few seekers are not able to travel to Vaishno Devi’s sunlit peak of mountain at Katra due to Corona Pandemic, so the Shrine Board has decided to make the coins available in Jammu and Delhi as well.
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) has developed 2g, 5g & 10g Gold and Silver coins of guaranteed purity carrying an impression of the Holy Pindies.
The rates of the coins depend on the denomination chosen and the prevailing gold/silver rates.
Currently, Silver coin 10gm is available at Rs. 770.00, Silver coin 5gm for Rs. 410.00, Gold coin 2gm for Rs 11490.00, Gold coin 5gm for Rs 28150.00 and Gold coin 10 gm for Rs. 55880.00
These coins are available at Souvenir Shops at Bhawan, Jammu Airport, Katra, Kalika Dham Jammu and JK House, 5 Prithviraj Road, Delhi. (AGENCY)