Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine introduces paid darshan for pilgrims

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Jammu, Jun 1 (UNI) In a bid to provide better facilities and easy services to the pilgrims coming to pay obeisance at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine situated on Trikuta Hills in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, the Shrine Board authorities have introduced a ''paid darshan'' system from today, official sources here said.

Pilgrims, who are in a ''hurry'' or having ''emergency'' can avail this facility while taking yatra slip at Katra, the base camp of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, sources said.

''Two gates will be thrown open for the yatris in two different categories as those who intend to have darshan from bathing gate (Gate No. 2) will have to pay Rs 500 per person, while for Gate No 5, Rs 200 per person have been fixed,'' Mr M K Diwedi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shine Board told UNI asserting, ''30 per cent of yatris for 'Atka' darshan will have to pay Rs 1000 per person and they can also participate in the 'aarti'.'' ''We have fixed the quota system for paid darshans and only 1 per cent of yatris (300-400 pilgrims) out of total yatra, will be having this facility,'' he said adding that children accompanying the paid darshan yatris would be allowed free of cost.

However, Mr Diwedi said the facility would continue throughout the year and soon it would also be made available to the yatris through internet services.

''The idea was just like the 'tatkal' service as available to the railway pilgrims and the yatris, who had to perform darshan in ''emergency'' can avail the facility,'' the CEO added.

UNI VBH AE CS1340

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