Jammu normalcy restores rush of pilgrims to Vaishno Devi

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Jammu, Sep 10 (UNI) The restoration of normalcy in the winter capital after a two-month-long agitation over the Amarnath land row has raised the number of pilgrims visiting the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine at Katra in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said here today.

''After a steep fall in yatra in the last two months of agitation owing to the frequent shutdowns and curfew due to turmoil over the Amarnath land controversy, Jammu is bouncing back to normalcy, which has brought up the number of visitors to holy Katra town,'' official sources said.

The sources said the first week of September has seen a great rise with 17,000 to 18,000 pilgrims visiting the shrine to pay obeisance to the natural 'pindies' (idols) each day.

''The yatra had shown a drastic decline in the last two months and the agitation had badly affected the business of the town,'' sources said adding that as the agitation is over, pilgrims from across the country, have started visiting Katra to trek 13 km long track to Bhawan.

Sources in Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) also revealed that about five million pilgrim tourists annually visit base camp Katra to pay obeisance to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine at Bhawan situated on Trikuta Hills.

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