Jammu, Oct 10:
On the occasion of first Navratra, former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla today inaugurated and participated in the magnificent Shobha Yatra, taken out from Bage-e Bahu Bawe Bali Mata with religious fervour and gaiety amidst chanting of Bhajans and hymns in praise of Maa Vaishno Devi towards famous Mahamaya Mandir. Speaking on the occasion, Bhalla said that such festivals symbolize unity in diversity besides highlighting composite culture of the State. These events also provide a common platform to the people irrespective of caste, colour and creed to interact with each other and share their culture and traditions which further help in strengthening bonds of brotherhood and communal harmony. Extending greetings to the people in general and pilgrims in particular on Navratras, Bhalla said that the festival provides an opportunity to the visiting yatris to have a glimpse of our rich cultural heritage and peaceful co-existence of people of different faiths. He said that efforts must be made by the Governor Administration to create additional infrastructural facilities at Bawe Bali Mata temple to meet the increasing rush of pilgrims effectively.
Lauding the role of various local associations connected with the Navratra festival, Bhalla said that such events could not get successful without the active participation of the locals. Highlighting the fast growing popularity of the festival, Bhalla said the yearly event was started for popularizing the Holy Cave Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji as a major pilgrim destination of the State.He asked Government to make all out efforts to provide all modern line basic amenities to the visiting pilgrims from across the country. He said the devotees of Shri Mata Vasihno Devi Jee and Shiv Khori is increasing day-by-day. Thousands of devotees on Wednesday thronged ancient Mahakali Temple (Bawe Wali Mata) in this winter capital to pay obeisance to mark the celebrations of first day of nine-day long Navratras.Amidst enchanting of Jaikaras in praise of deity, devotees were seen lined up in the premises of the temple on Tuesday midnight for early Darshan of Goddess Kali. In view of this, he maintained that there is urgent need to develop facilities at famous Mahamaya Mandir, Shree Ranbireshwar Mandir, Shree Raghunath Mandir and others including the Chichi Mata Mandir to accommodate huge rush of devotees.