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Holy cave shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi witnesses arrival of 96 Lakh pilgrims this year, highest in past ten years

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The Holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi in the Trikuta Hills of Katra town in the Reasi district has witnessed the arrival of at least 96 lakh pilgrims this year, the highest in the past 10 years. About 95.86 lakh pilgrims have so far paid obeisance to Goddess Vaishno Devi this year. The highest number in the history of the pilgrimage journey was in 2012, with 1 crore 4 lakh 9 thousand and 5 hundred and 69 devotees paying obeisance at the holy shrine. 

The recently inaugurated Skywalk has proved very helpful in crowd management. Besides Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan, adequate arrangements and facilities have also been made for the pilgrims at Katra, Adh-Kunwari, Bhairon Ghati, and other places on the Katra-Bhawan track.

The shrine has in the recent past seen many additions in terms of facilities, including the Skywalk at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan and Durga Bhavan.  An online booking facility for the passenger ropeway from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan to the Bhairon Ji Temple for the convenience of the visiting pilgrims has also been inaugurated which has been widely appreciated by the pilgrims.

However, the decision of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board approving a Rs. 250 crore passenger ropeway project between Tarakote Marg to Sanji Chhat along the 12-km track to the revered shrine has not been appreciated by the local people of Katra. People of Katra yesterday observed a shutdown against this decision alleging that this Ropeway project will render a lot of people associated with the Yatra unemployed.

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