Three-tier security arrangements for Shiv Khori fair in Reasi

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Jammu, Mar 3 (UNI) Special companies of Army, BSF and CRPF have been deployed by the district administration for the three-day Shiv Khori Mela -- to mark Maha Shivratri celebrations -- in the remote Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Shiv Khori ('Khori' means cave in local language), a natural cave shrine of Lord Shiva in a hillock in Reasi's Pouni block, prepares for a record visitors this time, with the district administration finalising all arrangements to make the event a success.

''All the possible requirements to meet the big rush of pilgrims on the occasion of Shivaratri at Shiv Khori have been mode,'' Deputy Commissioner Reasi, Sanjeev Verma told UNI.

He said over 50,000 devotees, are expected to visit the shrine to have 'darshans' of naturally formed Shiv Lingam about 100 meters inside the unexplored cave despite the ongoing examinations in different states of the country and state.

''A record arrival of devotees at Shiv Khori is expected this time,'' Mr Verma said, adding that provision round the clock electricity and water supply at Ransu, the base are been made.

Special arrangements have also been made to provide medical facility at the shrine.

''Infrastructure have been developed for the smooth yatra for the devotees as 90 per cent of track have been tiled besides lighting and other basic facilities required,'' he said asserting that cultural programmes would be organised at the base camp as Shrine Board is taking care of this holy place, visitors would be more enthusiast to pay obeisance.

Meanwhile Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Reasi J L Sharma told UNI, ''Sufficient arrangements have been made for the three-day long fair. Additional troops have been deployed, who will be taking care of the spot and its surroundings.'' Shiv Khori is a natural cave in a hillock in Reasi district, which contains a self-made image of Lord Shiva.

The Shiv Khori cave is situated in Pouni block in which the cave lies is wooded and beautiful. The outer chamber of the cave is quite spacious and can accommodate a few dozens of people at a time.

On every Shivratri, a big fair is organised here and an overwhelming response is received. Thousands of people from every religion and section of Society including, a large number of nomadic tribes of Bakerwal and Gujjars and children throng the Cave Shrine to get blessing and glimpses of Lord Shiva.

The Shrine is situated at a distance of about 5 km from Ransu in Udhampur district of Jammu division and has many legends and historic evidences attached to it.

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