Tribune News Service
Jammu, September 29
On the auspicious occasion of the first Navratra, the National Conference (NC) provincial president Devender Singh Rana on Sunday paid obeisance at the Kol Kandoli temple, the first spiritual destination on the ancient heritage Mata Vaishno Deviji yatra route, and prayed for peace, progress, prosperity, and tranquillity in the country as also in Jammu and Kashmir.
Rana visited the temple after seeking permission from the authorities. He performed puja in spiritual ambience amid recitation of mantras and “bhaints” of the Mata Rani.
In a message, Rana felicitated the people on the commencement of Navratras and hoped the occasion would spread peace and amity and inspire people to rededicate themselves to the service of humanity and the country. He invoked blessings of Maa Durga and prayed for the universal brotherhood, besides the well-being of the people.
“Navratras are the auspicious days when we all should submit before Goddess Durga, the divine mother, and seek Her blessings for all. He said the people of Jammu were blessed to be under the care of Mata Vaishno Devi that has all along showered her blessings upon millions of devotees since times immemorial. “We must devote ourselves to the special prayers for Mata to overcome all our difficulties”, he said and hoped that Navratras will steer Jammu and Kashmir to peace and progress.
Rana exhorted the people of Jammu to maintain their tradition of extending hospitality towards the pilgrims thronging from various parts of the country and even abroad, especially during the Navratras. He hoped that the blessings of Godess Durga would help in removing the tendencies of hate and intolerance that have unfortunately overtaken compassion, love and sacrifice.
Festival begins in Katra
The nine-day Navratra festival began in the holy town of Katra, with Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, and Adviser to Governor KK Sharma inaugurating the annual event.
The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, and Deputy Commissioner, Reasi, Indu Kanwal Chib, besides many senior officials.
The ceremony was marked by traditional puja and a colourful cultural bonanza comprising dances presented by artistes from all over the country. Artistes of the Regional Outreach Bureau of India mesmerised the public with cultural dances of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Jharkhand etc.
Folk dances of Jammu region like Kud, Geetru and a Bhaderwahi dance were also presented by local artistes.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister congratulated the tourists as well as the local community on the occasion of the first Navratra. He prayed to the Goddess for progress and prosperity of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
Adviser Sharma appreciated the role of the Tourism Department, district administration Reasi, Regional Outreach Bureau and all other agencies for organising the festival successfully.
He said the state government had passed a proposal of Rs 98 crore for the rejuvenation plan for the Ban Ganga stream and its DPR had been forwarded to the Union Government.
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