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Vaishnodevi pilgrimage put on hold due to rush

June 13, 2004 21:46 IST

Heavy rush of pilgrims seeking darshan at the holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Trikuta Hills of Jammu led police to again 'hold up' the pilgrimage at the Katra base camp on Sunday.

"The yatra resumed early on Sunday after a brief night halt but has again been put on hold due to the heavy rush as a fresh batch of 30,000 pilgrims arrived this evening at Katra," a Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board (SMVSB) official told PTI in Jammu.

Owing to the weekend break and Sankranti, which falls on Monday, nearly 72,000 pilgrims have arrived at Katra creating a heavy rush.

Although we have the ability to accommodate 100,000 pilgrims at any time at Katra, we cannot send them onwards to Bhawan for security reasons, the official said.

Only 25,000 pilgrims are allowed to perform darshan in a 24-hour period. However, at present, the number of pilgrims stands at 35,000.

Police have put the yatra on hold at Katra till the some of the pilgrims complete the darshan and leave.

So far, 30lakh pilgrims have already performed darshan at the cave shrine and a total of 60lakh pilgrims are expected to visit cave shrine this year.

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