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Nine-day Navratra Festival begins at Katra town

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Dr Jitendra Singh, Advisor Sharma inaugurate the religious carnival

KATRA:  The nine-day Navratra Festival today began at the holy town of Katra amid religious fervor and gaiety with Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region and Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Jitendra Singh and Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, K.K Sharma inaugurating the annual event.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, Ramesh Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Deputy Commissioner, Reasi, Indu Kanwal Chib and Director Tourism, Jammu, R.K.Katoch besides other senior officers and prominent citizens were present in the inaugural ceremony.

While speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of state congratulated the tourists as well as the local community on the auspicious occasion of first Navratra and prayed to the Goddess for progress and prosperity of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. He appealed all the stakeholders connected with Tourism sector to work with synergy for revival of Tourism Industry in Jammu and Kashmir. “This will boost the economy of the Union Territory which has been stagnated due to COVID -19 pandemic.

The Festival is being organized by the Directorate of Tourism, Jammu in collaboration with Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Katra and Hotel, Restaurant & Travel Associations of Katra. The Navratra Festival was started in the year 1996 to promote pilgrimage tourism in J&K UT and has now become an annual event which is held during the auspicious nine days of the Sharad Navratras.  The people celebrate feminine divinity referred to as Shakti during the auspicious 9-days.   In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been decided by the Navratra Festival Committee to celebrate the Festival this year in a simple yet spiritually fulfilling manner by following all COVID-19 protocols.

The Festival commenced with Shobha Yatra from Asia Chowk, Katra which culminated at Fountain Chowk, Katra where inaugural Rath decorated with grandeur of Mata Ki Pindies, Kanjaks and audio players was established. A well decorated Pandal was also erected at Fountain Chowk where Hawan/Pujan will be performed on all the nine days. The Gate-way to the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi ji has been illuminated by the Municipal Committee, Katra to give a festive look to the town.

The Festival is being promoted in a big way by the Tourism Department in collaboration with Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and District Administration, Reasi with active support of local community, Tour, Travel and Trade Associations, Katra; NGO’s etc.  This event will promote pilgrimage tourism of Katra in particular and Jammu province in general.

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