Devotees flock to temples, marking joyous Navratri celebrations

LG promotes nationwide art, theatre integration during festival

SRINAGAR, OCT 16: The second day of Navratri, an auspicious Hindu festival dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga, witnessed an overwhelming influx of devotees who thronged to temples across the Union Territory to seek blessings and offer their prayers.
The annual Navratri festival, which kicked off on October 15, is scheduled to continue its festivities until October 23.
Prominent temples in the Jammu division, including Bawe Wali Mata, Chichi Mata, Sukrala Mata Temple, Kol Kandoli, Chandi Mata Temple in Bhaderwah, and Padder Kishtwar, have been splendidly illuminated and decorated, extending a warm welcome to devotees during this joyous season.
As per the officials, the second day of Navratri marked a significant increase in the number of devotees making their way to these sacred shrines.
One of the most revered temples in the region, the Vaishno Devi Temple, witnessed a remarkable surge in footfall. The temple authorities had made elaborate arrangements to ensure a smooth and safe darshan (worship) experience for the devotees.
In the town of Katra, a series of diverse programs was organized to celebrate the Navratri festival. The programs in the coming days include congregational events like ‘Prabhat Pheri’, recitation of ‘Mata ki Kahani’, a devotional song competition, Ram Leela, and ‘Dangalm’.
Wrestling competitions, performances by specially-abled children, and various cultural activities are also on the agenda for the festival.
Another significant temple, the Raghunath Temple in Jammu, also reported a substantial increase in devotees paying their respects. The temple was beautifully adorned with flowers and lights to celebrate the festive occasion.
Local temples in Srinagar, including the Kheer Bhawani Temple and Shankaracharya Temple, were not far behind in attracting devotees who came to offer their prayers and seek the blessings of the deities.
Devotees, dressed in traditional attire, could be seen standing in long queues outside the temples, patiently waiting for their turn to enter the sanctum sanctorum and perform their rituals. The melodious sounds of devotional songs and the aroma of incense added to the festive atmosphere.
The security forces and temple authorities worked in tandem to ensure better arrangements for the devotees.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who also serves as the Chairman of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, has given instructions to incorporate various forms of art and theatre from across the country into the festival.
In the next seven days, the temples in Jammu and Kashmir are expected to remain a hub of spiritual activity, drawing in devotees from all corners of the Union Territory and beyond, as they seek the blessings of the divine during this holy season.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah emphasized the profound spiritual significance of observing Navratri pujas at the historic Sharda Temple in Kashmir this year.
The Navratri pujas held at the Sharda Temple mark a significant event as it’s the first time they have taken place since 1947.
In a post on X platform, he highlighted that earlier this year, Chaitra Navratri Puja was observed, and now, the mantras of the Shardiya Navratri puja resonate within the sacred precincts of the shrine.
Meanwhile, to enhance the Navratri festival experience, improvements have been made to the registration and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) setup.
The number of registration counters has been increased to 37, and the registration process will commence at 4 AM instead of 5 AM, ensuring that pilgrims do not have to endure long queues. The registration will be regulated based on the carrying capacity of the Yatra track, making it a more convenient and enjoyable experience for all.

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