ANI Photo | Free Langar sewa started at Vaishno Devi to mark beginning of Navratras

Marking the beginning of the auspicious Shardiya Navratras, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) on Sunday started a free Langar Sewa at Shri Bhairon Ji Temple Complex after the commencement of Shat Chandi Yagya at the shrine for the safe passage of the pilgrims.
The Langar Sewa was inaugurated by Anshul Garg, chief executive officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, as per the directions of the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, who is also the chairman of SMVDSB.
“A puja was held at the site before the commencement of the Langar Sewa. It is the third such facility by the Board in a row. Two are already operating at Tarakote Marg and Sanjichatt and both the facilities have received widespread appreciation from the devotees, who relish the meals being offered in the form of Prasad during the arduous track to the holy cave,” CEO Anshul Garg said.
The Langar facility commenced at the already existing spacious Bhojanalaya of the Board at Bhairon Ji, which can cater to about 150 pilgrims at a time. The Langar kitchen has been equipped with modern kitchenware, utensils and other gadgets to provide the most hygienic and wholesome food to the pilgrims.
The langar sewa has been started by the Shrine Board in keeping with its endeavour to provide free meals to the maximum number of pilgrims visiting the shrine.
Among those present at the opening of the langar service were Dr Ashok Bhan and KK Sharma, both members of the Board, Dr Jagdish Mehra, Jt. CEO, other officers and employees of the Board, and a large number of pilgrims.
Before the commencement of the Navratras, President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated a skywalk and a remodelled Parvati Bhawan at the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji on October 12 in the presence of Manoj Sinha. These facilities were dedicated with an aim to overcome the problem of multidirectional flow and ensure systematic and smooth movement of yatra seeking multiple facilities in the Bhawan area, which include lockers, washrooms, resting places, and toilets and facilitate the movement of devotees towards the skywalk for a darshan of the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Both these facilities were thrown open on the first day of the Navratra, adding to the ease and convenience of the pilgrims.
Earlier, the CEO Garg attended the beginning of the nine-day-long Shatchandi Yagya amidst the Vedic hymns, religious chants and performance of other religious ceremonies organised during ‘Shardiya Navratras’ at the holy cave shrine for peace, prosperity and health of humanity, which will conclude with Purna Ahuti on Mahanavami.
The Yagya ceremony is being telecast live and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has made grand decorations at Bhawan, Atka and the area surrounding it for the large number of pilgrims visiting the shrine during ongoing Navratras.
“The decorations have been made with indigenous-foreign fruits and flowers, as well as huge reception doors and pandals have been installed in the Bhawan Area. Likewise, the illumination of the Bhawan area with attractive and colourful lights has also been done,” CEO Garg said.
“The Shrine Board has also made elaborate arrangements for facilitating a large number of pilgrims who are expected to pay their obeisance at the Sanctum Sanctorum during Navratras. These arrangements include round-the-clock water and power supply all along the tracks leading to the Shrine, sanitation, medicare and availability of special “fast related” food at the Board’s Bhojanalayas. Besides, all the routes leading to the Holy Cave Shrine are fully maintained for the smooth movement of pilgrims,” Garg said.
The Shrine Board has also ensured the smooth pilgrimage of Divyang pilgrims by providing them free pony, battery car service and assistance in darshans as per the directions of the chairman, SMVDSB.
A round-the-clock call centre with the toll-free number 18001807212 has also been made operational by the Board to facilitate the pilgrims.
The CEO of the Shrine Board is reviewing and monitoring the regulation of the Yatra along with other arrangements all along the track and in the Bhawan Area while interacting with the pilgrims enquiring about the facilities made by the Board for them

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