Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mata Vaishno Devi yatra may touch 1 cr

Pilgrimage to holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi ji was, for the first time, touching 6 million in just seven months of the year recording an increase of 7.77 lakh over the corresponding months last year. The present trend of increase could take the yatra very close to magic figure of 1 crore this year.

It would be the first shrine, located between the Trikuta hills and untouched by the passenger vehicles, to receive nearly 10 million pilgrims in a year in the country.

During first seven months of this year, 58.63 lakh yatris had visited the cave shrine of Goddess Vaishno Devi, located at a height of 5200 feet from sea level. Going by the current average arrival of 35,000 to 40,000 pilgrims per day at Katra, the base camp of the shrine, the yatra would cross 6 million in next three to four days. Last year, the feat of 6 million was achieved after eight months.

Additional CEO Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), Dr Mandeep K Bhandari told the Excelsior that pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine has shown an increase of 7.77 lakh during first seven months of this year as compared to same period last year.

As against 58.63 lakh pilgrims visiting the holy cave shrine by this evening, 50.86 lakh yatris had visited Vaishno Devi Bhawan in the corresponding period last year, he said.

In the month of July, 11.27 lakh yatris paid obeisance to Goddess Vaishno Devi. The number during last year was 8.17 lakh.

This is for the first time that yatra to Vaishno Devi shrine had crossed 11 lakh in the months of June and July. During the two months alone, the yatra has recorded an increase of about 6.5 lakh over the same months of previous year taking total increase during seven months to 7.77 lakh.

During 2010, an all time high 87.2 lakh pilgrims had visited Mata Vaishno Devi shrine. With 7.77 lakh increase having been registered in the yatra already, the Shrine Board authorities were anticipating that, going by the present trend, the yatra could touch or reach close to 1 crore this year.

There is no shrine in the country having no direct access of passenger vehicles which received 1 crore pilgrims a year. The pilgrims had to trek 13 kilometers hilly track from Katra to reach the Bhawan of Goddess Vaishno Devi.

Meanwhile, the Shrine Board has received report from IIM Ahmedabad experts on yatra management at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan in view of ever increasing rush of the yatris. The Board had hired services of IIM Ahmedabad experts to suggest yatra management within limited scope of widening at Bhawan complex for better management of yatra queues to ensure that the pilgrims face less inconvenience and time in the queues.

The Shrine Board authorities are studying the report, official sources said.

SDPO Katra P N Tickoo said security arrangements at Katra, which serves as base camp for the shrine, Darshani Deodi, Ban Ganga and surrounding areas of Katra have already been intensified in view of unabated heavy rush of the pilgrims to Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan.

Mr Tickoo said the pilgrims having mobile handset with IMEI number and photo identity cards were being allowed only in the hotels, guest houses, lodges and sarais as per the directive of police.

As against 87.2 lakh yatra in 2010, the number in 2009 was 82 lakh. In 2008, 67.92 lakh yatra was recorded while the number was 74.17 lakh in 2007. The pilgrimage was down in 2008 due to Amarnath land row agitation.

While 4,21,231 yatris had darshan of natural pindies of Goddess Vaishno Devi during January this year, the similar figure for previous year was 3,99,665. In February, the yatra came down slightly and stood at 3,69,755 as against 3,77,213 last year. In March, 7.55 lakh yatris paid obeisance to the Goddess as against 7.22 lakh last year. In April this year, 9.77 lakh pilgrims visited Mata's Bhawan as against 8.35 lakh last year.

Yatra to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in the month of May was almost equal like the last year. While this year, 8.7 lakh yatris visited the cave shrine, the figure for the last year was 8.65 lakh. In June, the yatra went up to 11.6 lakh as against 9.19 lakh last year.

No comments:

Post a Comment