Nine-day long Navratri festival begins at Katra’s Mata Vaishno Devi shrine amid religious gaiety and fervour
Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, IAS, Chief Secretary J&K, in his speech, said that the administration is working towards facilitating the traveling of tourists to Katra. He also shared his heartiest greetings on the festive season to the local community.
Yog Ashram, Katra witnessed the inaugural ceremony of the Navratra Festival 2022. On September 26, in the presence of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sh. Ramesh Kumar, IAS, Director Tourism, Jammu, Vivekanand Rai, IRS , CEO, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Anshul Garg, IAS, Ms. Babila Rakwal, DC, Reasi besides other senior officers, Chief Secretary, J&K, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, IAS inaugurated the festival.
With a traditional puja and formal reception of all the guests by Mata Ki Chunaries, the inaugural ceremony kickstarted. A laser show on Mata Ki Kahani was also displayed, which received appreciation from the audience. The evening was marked with presentations by renowned artist groups as well.
Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, IAS, Chief Secretary J&K, in his speech, said that the administration is working towards facilitating the traveling of tourists to Katra. He also shared his heartiest greetings on the festive season to the local community. Anshul Garg, IAS, CEO, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board while welcoming the guests said “Navratras are the time to welcome new beginnings. This time to celebrate the holy occasion of Navratri, Shrine Board has installed welcome gates and selfie point at Katra for the devotees. Also, physically challenged devotees will be provided horses and battery cars free of cost to make it easier for them to visit the Shrine”.
Ramesh Kumar, IAS, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu appreciated the role of Tourism Department, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, District Administration Reasi, Central Bureau of Communication, UT of J&K and Ladakh and all other agencies for putting up the festival successfully.
Navratra Festival, which started in 1996, is now a grand celebration with thousands of people coming together to witness the festive season. In Katra, Jammu, around this time, bright lights, coloured drapes and the sound of folk and devotional music surround everyone. The main attractions of Navratra Festival are Ramleela, All India Devotional Song Competition, Bhagwat Katha, Prabhat Pheri, Shoba Yatra, Mata Ki Kahani, Laser Show on theme of Mata Ki Kahani, Hum Bhi Kam Nahi Talent Show, Wrestling Competition, Hassaya Vyang and Kavi Sammelan etc. Besides, cultural program and multimedia exhibition by Central Bureau of Communication, UT of J&K and Ladakh is also held at Higher Secondary School, Katra where distinguished performance from throughout India present their art forms.
Vivekanand Rai, Director Tourism, Jammu presented the vote of thanks where he extended his gratitude and appreciation to all the stakeholders for their commitment and overwhelming support.
Also, present on the occasion were Sunaina Sharma Mehta, JKAS, Joint Director Tourism Jammu, Abdul Satar, JKAS, ADC Reasi, Angrez Singh, JKAS, SDM Katra, Amit Gupta, SSP Reasi, Amit Bhasin, SP Katra, Abdul Jabbar, JKAS, Deputy Director Tourism Publicity, Ambika Bali, JKAS, ADT Katra etc.