‘Shat Chandi Maha Yagya’ begins with onset of auspicious nine-day long ‘Sharad Navratras’ on Monday at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop Trikuta hills in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, an official said. The ‘Maha Yagya’ which is being performed by chanting of Vedic hymns with other religious ceremonies at the holy cave shrine for peace, prosperity, health, safety and well being of mankind, will conclude with ‘Purna Ahuti’ on Mahanavami, a spokesperson of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine board said. He said it is being telecast on Shraddha MH-One channel from 11: 30 AM to 1:00 PM daily during Navratras.
Like in the past, the Board has made elaborate arrangements to facilitate a much larger number of pilgrims who are likely to visit the Shrine during Navratras. Grand decorations are made at the Bhawan, Atka and the area surrounding it with indigenous-foreign fruits and flowers, as well as huge reception doors and pandals are installed in the Bhawan area, the spokesperson said. Likewise, the illumination of the Bhawan area with attractive and colourful lights has also been done. The breathtaking and festive decorations are a special visual delight for pilgrims who trek about 12km from the base camp Katra to Bhawan, the official said.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta inaugurated the Navratra festival in a glittering function at Yog Ashram, Katra in presence of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, Director Tourism, Jammu, Vivekanand Rai, Chief Executive Officer, Shrine Board, Anshul Garg and Deputy Commissioner, Reasi, Babila Rakwal.
The inaugural ceremony was marked with traditional puja and formal reception of all important guests by presentation of ‘Mata ki Chunaries’. “The administration is dedicated towards facilitating the visitors with quality services at Katra,” Mehta said.