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Navratra festival to be celebrated with strict adherence to COVID SOPs

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Div Com appeals devotees to follow Covid appropriate behavior

Jammu: Tourism Department Jammu in collaboration with Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board have geared up for organising annual Navratra festival 2021 at Katra from October 7 to October 15.

Pertinently, to promote pilgrimage tourism in J&K, the Navratra festival was started in 1996 and the event has attained international fame and popularity over the years.

The festival could not be organized last year due to Covid-19. This year, the administration has decided to organize it on a limited scale, owing to the fact that a large number of people have been vaccinated.

While people are still supposed to observe Covid appropriate behaviour, it is also felt that the yearly tradition must be maintained.

Addressing the media persons here today, the Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Raghav Langer said that the festival has huge significance but keeping in view the Covid Pandemic the administration with active involvement of all the stakeholders like Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, tourism department, District Administration Reasi, Transporters, Hoteliers, Event Organisers, civil society, have decided to celebrate the festival on a limited scale to maintain the tradition and Heritage.

He also informed that all the activities have been planned keeping in view the pandemic many of routine events, which involve heavy rush of public, have been curtailed. Many events have been redesigned to minimize public gathering.

DC Reasi, while giving details, informed that unlike past practice, Shobha Yatra would be taken out only on the first and the last Navratra to avoid public gatherings, while Devotional Song performance will be hosted for two days instead of National level competition for 8 days.

The play ‘Mata ki Kahani’ would be presented by Natrang Theatre Group in the Auditorium of  Spiritual Growth Centre with a limited audience. The show will also be telecast at different locations through LED screens to avoid large gatherings at a single place and to ensure that a greater number of people can witness the performance in their own personal space.

However, Prabhat Pheri will continue for 8 days from Bus Stand covering Darshani Deodi to Raghunath Temple and Bhumika Temple.

The festival shall be inaugurated from Hotel Surya Palace on October 7, at 11 am. A shobha yatra would be taken out from the venue to Fountain Chowk, Katra.

It was informed that culture programmes and Multimedia exhibitions would be held at Higher Secondary School Katra, Devotional Songs performances at Yog Ashram Ground, Bhagvat Katha from 8 to 15 October at Shri Raghunath Temple Katra, Kavi Samellan and Hassaya Samellan at Higher Secondary School Katra on 11 and 12 October respectively, wrestling competition on October 10 at Katra stadium, programme by specially abled children on October 13 at Spiritual Growth Centre Katra.

It was further informed that district administration Reasi and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board have made elaborate arrangements for Navratras in Katra and all along the old track for a comfortable and memorable Yatra.

Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Anshul Garg informed that three events are being organized in Jammu district for the tourists and the people of Jammu and Kashmir for creating an atmosphere of festivity. Gharba and Dandia Night would be held at Gulshan Ground Jammu on October 9, Dogri Food Festival and Traditional Costume/Attire display competition at Jammu Haat on October 10, Mata Ki Bhaint (Jagran) at Raghunath Bazar on October 13.

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