Devotees queued up at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Katra for ‘darshan’ on the first day of Navratri on Saturday.
7000 people are being allowed to visit the shrine in a day. Their temperature is being checked and all necessary SOPs, in the wake of the pandemic, are being followed.
Sanitizing, social distancing and masks are mandatory. The per-day pilgrims limit has been increased from five thousand to seven thousand. Also, the Pitthu and pony services have also been resumed. Helicopter services are already operational.
A Mata Vaishno Devi App has been launched through which people, who are not able to come to Mata Vaishno Devi, can have live darshans at their homes.
A devotee said, “The decoration is very good and flowers have come from Bengaluru. The arrangement for COVID-19 has been done.”
“They are facilitating conducting COVID-19 tests before coming here,” she added.
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.