Katra (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], October 17 (ANI): Devotees thronged the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Katra for darshan on the first day of Navratri on Saturday.
Ramesh Kumar, CEO of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine told ANI that only 7,000 devotees are allowed to visit the shrine in a day and all necessary steps have been taken in the wake of the pandemic.
"Only 7,000 devotees are allowed to visit the shrine in a day through online registration. Proper thermal checking and sanitisation are conducted in the wake of coronavirus pandemic and only after that devotees are allowed. Face masks have been mandated and all social distancing norms are maintained at the shrine. Track, battery car, and helicopter are sanitized at hourly basis," Kumar said.
"Shrine has been decorated with flowers and fruits on the occasion of first Navratri. Renowned bhajan singers will take part in morning and evening Atta arti. Mess has been functional for devotees who are visiting the shrine. Sath Chandi Yagya is being organised which will be telecasted live on Shri Mata Vaishno Devi app" he added.
Mamta, a devotee from Ahmedabad, said she prayed to the goddess that the pandemic ends and life returns to normal.
"It's good to be here on the first day of navratri and I prayed that COVID-19 pandemic ends quickly. All the COVID-19 measures are being followed at the shrine," Mamta said.
The celebrations of Sharad (autumn) Navratri involve worshipping Goddess Durga and her nine forms. The festival is celebrated in different ways across the country. Over the next nine days, devotees offer their prayers to Goddess Durga and observe fasts.
Also known as Sharad Navratri, the occasion is believed to mark Goddess Durga's victory over demon Mahishasura, signifying the victory of good over evil. The 10th day of Sharad Navratri is celebrated as Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami. (ANI)