President prays at Vaishnodevi shrine

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Srinagar, May 27 : President Pratibha Patil paid a visit to the holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in the Trikuta hills during the last leg of her five-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.

Accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt Gen (retired) S K Sinha, she flew to the Sanjichat helipad in the Katra belt from Jammu and offered prayers at the shrine.

"It was a call of Mata that is why I am here with my family. Without the goddess's call, no one can reach her," said Patil, who was accompanied by husband Devi Singh Shekhawat, her daughter, son, son-in-law and grand children.

They performed a special 'aarti' and performed prayers at the shrine, sources said.

She arrived amidst tight security in and around the shrine, with army, CRPF and State Police personnel being deployed in Reasi District.

The President will visit Shimla from Jammu, concluding her five day visit to the state which started on 23rd May.

Earlier, on Monday evening, speaking in the second convocation of Sher-I-Kashmir University of Agriculture Science and Technology, Patil praised citizens of Jammu for their approach of accommodation and pluralism.

"The people of this city are the inheritors of this remarkable tradition of living together in peace and harmony and it is a matter of pride that this heritage has been kept alive", she said.

ANI

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