Navratra festival kicks-off in Katra, Dasara in Mangaluru


The annual Navratra festival today commenced at the base camp of cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, Katra, amid tight security.

On the first Navratra, Minister for Health and Medical Education, Choudhary Lal Singh inaugurated the annual Navratra festival by participating in the magnificent Shobha Yatra.

Katra town, the base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, is witnessing a huge rush of pilgrims from across the country and abroad during the ongoing Navratras.

The annual nine-day Navratra Festival at holy town Katra would started today offering a series of events for the visitors till its culmination on October 21.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that such festivals symbolize unity in diversity besides highlighting composite culture of the state.

These events also provide a common platform to the people irrespective of caste, colour and creed to interact with each other and share their culture and traditions which further helps in strengthening bonds of brotherhood and communal harmony, he said.

Extending greetings to the people in general and pilgrims in particular on Navratras, Singh said that the festival provides an opportunity to the visiting yatris to have a glimpse of our rich cultural heritage and peaceful co-existence of people of different faiths.

The Minister said that efforts are being made by the present coalition government to create additional infrastructural facilities at Katra to meet the increasing rush of pilgrims effectively.

Lauding the role of various local associations connected with the Navratra festival, Singh said that such mega event could not get successful without the active participation of the locals.

The Minister informed the holy event is organized jointly by Department of Tourism, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) and district administration, Katra Municipality and the local hospitality industry.

He added that 18 Sub-Committees have been constituted to make necessary arrangements in connection with the Navratra festival besides the elaborate security and traffic arrangements put in place.

He informed that Shoba Yatra-cum-cultural procession of troupes and tableaux showcasing culture and tradition of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir will commence from Asia Chowk at 7 PM on all days from October 14 to 21 as per past practice, he added.

The Minister said that since inception of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board at Katra town, massive development has been witnessed from Katra town to Bhawan.

Mangaluru Dasara celebrations on


Marking the beginning of the festive Navaratri season, the city’s most important festival, Mangaluru Dasara, began on a grand note at Kudroli Shree Gokarnanatheshwara temple here today.

The nine-day festival started with installation of nine idols of Goddess Durga in the decorated hall of the temple.

City commissioner of police S Murugan, who lighted the lamp at the inaugural, said religion was to unite people and not to create walls.

During the nine-day celebrations, deities Sharada Devi and Navadurgas Shaila Putri, Brahmacharini, Chandra Ghanta, Kushmaandini, Skandaputhri, Katyayini, Kaalaratri, Maha Gauri and Sidhidaathri would be invoked.

Cultural programmes by renowned artistes would be held every day at Santhoshi Kala Mantap.

Thousands of devotees gathered at the temple to participate in the celebrations. The celebrations would end with a grand Dasara Shobha Yatra procession to be held on October 23.

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