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Special prayer marks the start of Navratri at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine

JAMMU: A special prayer ‘Shat Chandi Maha Yagya' marked the commencement of Navratri festival at the famous shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi atop Trikuta hills in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.

The prayer organised by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) commenced on the auspicious occasion amidst chanting of Vedic Mantras and performance of other religious ceremonies, officials said.

The ''Maha Yagya'', which is being performed at the holy cave shrine for peace, prosperity and health of humanity, will conclude with ‘Purna Ahuti' on Mahanavami, they said.

Chief Executive Officer, SMVDSB, Ramesh Kumar and other officers of the Board and a large number of pilgrims were present on the occasion, officials said, adding the Maha Yagya would be telecast from 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm daily during the festival.

The shrine board has made elaborate arrangements for facilitating a large number of pilgrims who are expected to pay their obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum during the festival.

The arrangements include ensuring round-the-clock water and power supply along the tracks leading to the shrine, sanitation and sanitisation, availability of special fasting food, among others, amid the coronavirus pandemic, they added.

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