Jammu: Amidst Covid pandemic, more than 29 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance in first eight months of 2021 at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine situated in Trikuta Hills of Katra town in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.
''Though Covid second wave hit the country in the month of March but despite that, pilgrimage to the cave Shrine was not suspended but limited,'' an official of the Shrine Board here said.
Pertinent to mention here that last year in 2020 due to COVID outbreak, for the first time in history, pilgrimage was suspended.
''The enthusiasm of devotees remained constant and they continuously visited the cave shrine,'' he said.
''The yatra is increasing every day and in the eight months of the ongoing year till August 31, a total of 2910,829 devotees have so far paid obeisance at the Cave Shrine,'' the official added.
He said that per day, 15000 to 20000 pilgrims are reaching the base camp Katra to trek 13-kilometre and pay obeisance at the cave shrine.
In the month of January, a total of 408061 devotees paid obeisance followed by in February, 389549 devotees, in March, 525198 devotees, in April, 321735 devotees, in May, 45155 devotees, in June, 198490 devotees, in July, 500671 devotees and in in August, 521970 devotees visited the Bhawan.
''Corona test report is mandatory for the pilgrims visiting the Cave Shrine while those who have taken both the doses of vaccine and have valid proof, can travel without the test report,'' said an official.
Moreover, he said that on the spot testing centres have also been established at the entrance of the track and en route Bhawan. (UNI)