The Government is contemplating to constitute a Board to look after the affairs of Chandi Mata Yatra on the pattern of Shiv Khouri Shrine Board.
The Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora today chaired a high level meeting convened to discuss the modalities for the proposed Board, here today.
Commissioner Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Atul Duloo, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal and District Development Commissioner, Kishtwar, M. H. Malik, were among others who attended the meeting.
The Minister asked the concerned authorities to formulate a proposal envisaging the structure and function of the proposed Yatra management body. He said the proposed Board would look after the affairs of the yatra, besides creating facilities for pilgrims and ensure proper management and utilisation of the resources donated by the yatries at the shrine.
The meeting was told that in order to create tourist infrastructure facilities in Chandi Mata shrine area, the Tourism Department has submitted a project report of Rs. 5 crore to the Centre for approval and funding.
It is pertinent to mention that the holy temple of Chandi Mata is located in far off Paddar area at village Machail. The temple has historical significance as it is said to be constructed during 10th century, with idols made of rare metal.
The Machail Yatra was first started in the year 1980 from Bhaderwah-Chinote with 25 yatries. Subsequently in the year 1985 a registered organization Sarva Shakti Sevak Sanstha organized regular Machail Yatra. Since then it has become an annual affair with due recognition of district and divisional administration.
Since the year 1985 the yatra has been attracting pilgrims from far-off places and 99326 numbers of yatries paid their obeisance during yatra-2011.
The Chandi Mata yatra starts in the month of August and the State Government is extending all possible facilities to the yatries during yatra period. This yatra has become one of the most important yatra in erstwhile Doda district especially in district Kishtwar. It was actually for a period of 10 days initially but over the years it is becoming month long affair.