Over 2.5 lakh pilgrims visit Vaishno Devi during Navratri

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Jammu, Oct 9 (UNI) Despite two-month-long agitation and tension in the winter capital over Amarnath land row from July to August, the holy shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi observed heavy rush of pilgrims during nine-day-long Navratri festival as over 2.5 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance to the goddesses (natural pindies) inside the natural cave.

The pilgrimage however, has gone up by 65,000 in this Navratri as compared to the one celebrated in March but declined comparatively to the navratris celebrated in October 2008, official sources said.

''In 2007, the number of devotees visiting Shri Mata Vaishno Devi was 2.80 lakh during Navratras in October but the figure this year has reduced to 2.56 lakh,'' an official of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDB) told UNI, adding, in the month of March this year, 1.94 lakh yatris visited the holy cave as compared to 1.43 lakh in March 2007.

However, the first five Navratris witnessed a huge rush of pilgrims, which later slowed down by the end, they said.

UNI VBH RC HS1408

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