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Sunday, July 14, 2024

J&K: Kiosk at Katra’s Niharika complex to offer saplings as ‘Prasad’ for Vaishno Devi pilgrims


 The pilgrims visiting Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, in a first-of-its-kind initiative by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, will be offered a plant sapling as ‘prasad’ and the blessing of a revered shrine located in the Trikuta Hills of Katra town in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

“It is decided to establish a kiosk at Niharika Bhawan offering plants to the devotees in the form of ‘prasad’ so that on returning, they plant it at their native places as blessings of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi,” said Vinay Khajuria, Assistant Conservator of Forest, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.

He stated that the initiative is taken to encourage people to plant more trees and save the ‘Planet Earth’ from climate change and global warming, adding, “Every year, around two to three lakh plants of floriculture and over one lakh of forest species are planted as a set target.”

“In the next couple of days, the Board is formally starting to offer plants as ‘Parshad’ to Vaishno Devi pilgrims visiting the shrine,” he said. “The devotees can take the saplings along as blessings of Mata Rani.”

Notably, a high-tech nursery is established by the Shrine Board (SMVDSB) at Kunia village in the Panthal area near Katra.

Around one crore pilgrims annually visit Katra to pay obeisance at the cave shrine.

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