Tableaus, ethnic food mark opening of Navratra fest at Katra

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Jammu, Sep 30 (UNI) A nine-day long Navratra festival commenced today amidst the religious ambiance at holy town of Katra in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The festival was inaugurated by lighting the traditional lamp and seeking the blessings of Goddess Durga followed by a huge procession comprising different troupes and tableaux which would later become a daily evening affair during the festival.

''The tableaus depicting Dogra culture and highlighting the mythological legends from epics related to the Holy Goddess were the main attraction of the gala opening ceremony besides ethnic Dogra food during these nine days apart from other activities,'' Rakesh Wazir, a hotelier told UNI.

Meanwhile All India Devotional Song Competition would also be held on a daily basis and the finalist would be awarded a cash prize worth Rs.100,000 in the form of gold coins by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.

The festivities are being organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department in collaboration with the Shrine Board.

Earlier in the morning, the festival was declared open by Dr S S Bloweria, Advisor to Governor.

However, adequate security arrangements have also been made at the shrine and at the base camp by installing CCTV cameras at several places to prevent any untoward incidents, sources said.

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