PTI09 26 2022 000040B
PTI09 26 2022 000040B

The Union Territory administration is providing particular packages for the continuing Navratri competition to increase the keep of Hindu pilgrims

The Union Territory administration is providing particular packages for the continuing Navratri competition to increase the keep of Hindu pilgrims

About 43% of vacationers to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir are pilgrims to 2 Hindu shrines — Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Amarnath in Kashmir. Their journeys are often quick — a mean pilgrim spends three-four days, arriving largely by flight in Srinagar or Jammu, after which travelling by highway to the bottom camps for Amarnath or at Katra, respectively. Now, within the ongoing interval of Navratri, throughout which there’s a major surge in pilgrims to Vaishno Devi, the administration is attempting to encourage guests to remain longer and see extra inside J&Okay.

The brand new sights embody ‘Mata Ki Chauki’ (singing of devotional songs in reward of the mom goddess), day by day Ramlila reveals, prabhat pheris (in Katra, morning non secular processions that includes artistes from completely different States), ‘Mata Ki Kahani’ (renditions of the story of the mom goddess), embellished ‘Shiv-Parvati’ tableaux with people dances from completely different States, laser reveals, garbha dancing nights, devotional tune competitions, and particular vacationer packages to websites throughout the Jammu and Kashmir divisions. The J&Okay Tourism Division has additionally lined up an all-India devotional tune competitors, cultural programmes, and multimedia exhibitions.

Free horse rides and battery automotive providers are supplied for people who find themselves unable stroll all the best way as much as the Vaishno Devi cave shrine. RFID tags guarantee pilgrims’ security. Precedence darshans are organized for the bodily challenged.

The Amarnath Yatra has additionally seen preparations on a grand scale. The variety of tents en route to the shrine have been elevated from 29,000 in 2018 to 70,000 this 12 months. Six base hospitals have additionally been established for the primary time, and COVID hospitals with ICUs have been arrange at Pahalgam, Baltal and Sonamarg.

Patnitop, Sanasar and Bhaderwah within the Jammu division may turn into the go-to locations that feed off the Vaishno Devi circuit. Pilgrims who full their Amarnath Yatra can take into account whistle-stop excursions of Srinagar, Gulmarg and Pahalgam in Kashmir.

“Now we have tied up with tour operators and different stakeholders to supply particular quick packages,” Amarjeet Singh, Particular Secretary, Tourism, J&Okay instructed The Hindu. “As we’ve got good air connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar, a variety of flights are working each day.”

“We had a goal of offering 70,000 beds for vacationers. As part of this plan, we’re providing an increasing number of homestays as they not solely assist folks mingle with the native populace but additionally assist cut back the carbon footprint,” Mr. Singh mentioned.

“A majority of pilgrims who undertake pilgrimages to Amarnath and Vaishno Devi are 30 years or older in age. A lot of the pilgrims come from Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh,” Anwar Shirpurwala, secretary basic, Confederation of Hospitality, Expertise and Tourism Business, mentioned.

A. Krishna Mohan, managing director of Southern Travels, a tour operator, mentioned round 30% of the pilgrims are from different components of the nation, together with south India.

Sources within the J&Okay Tourism Division mentioned the highest-ever vacationer footfall thus far was 1.6 crore, and the administration expects that by the top of the 12 months, the quantity will cross 2 crore. Round 3.65 lakh pilgrims visited the Amarnath shrine this 12 months and until September 27, Vaishno Devi has had 65 lakh guests.