Senior BJP leader Mr Devender Singh Rana today said that promotion of the ancient heritage route to Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji Cave Shrine from Kol Kandoli Temple in Nagrota will bestow added spiritual bliss to pilgrims thronging from across the country and abroad and give renewed impetus to the Jammu economy.
Flagging off the annual Charri Yatra, being held under the aegis of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji Pracheen Marg Shrine Sanstha, from the historic heritage temple this morning amid Vedic Mantra and Bhaints of Maata, he said harnessing of the route has immense potential to give big fillip to the 24X7X365 pilgrimage, perhaps one of the biggest in the world.
The event was marked by offering of the ‘Mata Ki Chunri’, presented by Lieutenant Governor Mr Manoj Sinha to the Sanastha at the Pratham Puja of the Yatra for the auspicious occasion.
Mr Devender Rana expressed his gratitude to the Lieutenant Governor, who is also Chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, for evincing keen interest in the project report prepared by the Jammu Chapter of INTACH for restoration of the Pracheen Marg and passing on instructions to the administration for ensuring smooth arrangements for the yatra.
Mr Devender Rana appreciated the organizers Mr. Harbans Lal, Mr. Randeep Singh, Pt. Jagdish Raj Sharma and all their team members, saying the effort will go a long way in promoting the ancient route, rich with spiritual bliss.
Prominent among others who were present on the occasion included Mr S M Sahni, Convenor INTACH Jammu Chapter, Ms. Sunaina Mehta, Joint Director Tourism, Jammu Mr. Babu Ram, Tehsildar Nagrota, Lala Kishore Sarpanch Nagrota, Sukhdev Singh Sarpanch Kanjali, Neelam Sharma Sarpanch Chibba, Sarpanch Sanjeev Singh, Pt.Rameshwar Dutt, Som Nath Khajuria, Rekha Langeh, Baba Chanchal Singh, Dharamveer Singh Jamwal, Ajay Sharma, Sanjay Sharma, Surinder Singh Gilli, Kartar Chand, Madan Lal, Pandit Harish Kumar ,Pandit Sanjay Kumar, Pandit Vidya Sagar, Pandit Sanju Kumar , Ashok Thakur, Nazir Ahmed, Zamayat Ali, Arjun Sharma, Sanjeev Sharma, Rakesh Kumar, Pt. Ashok Sharma, Rakesh Kumar, Yogesh Sharma, Sanjay Sharma, Balbir , Master Ranjit Singh and many others.
Interacting with the media persons, Mr Rana stressed the need for exploring this route optimally in the backdrop of the INTACH report, prepared after carrying out detailed mapping of all the important heritage assets like step-wells, ponds, Sarais, wells, temples and springs along the trails, which were once used and maintained by the pilgrims.
The route starts from Kol Kandoli (Nagrota) on the National Highway 1A and passes through Jagdamba Mata Kheer Bhawani Temple - Jagti, Durga Mata Temple - Pangali, Shiv Temple - Thandapani - Drabi, Shiv Shakti Temple, Raja Mandleek Temple- and Raja Nowalgarh Temple – Marh, Drabi, Kali Mata Temple - Gundla Talab, Ram Darbar, Shiv Temple- Bamyal and Oli Temple Chhapanoo-Bamyal.By reviving this route, he said the devotees could go back home after paying obeisance at the Durbar of the Mata with enlightenment they have been searching all their life.
“Apart from spiritual aspect of the yatra, the promotion of Pracheen Marg will bring Jammu under focus and transform the economy of the peripheries from the City up to the cave shrine”, he said, adding that the pilgrim tourism has sustained the economy of Jammu and Kashmir in general and this region in particular during most difficult times post nineties and promoting these destinations by ensuring world class infrastructural facilities will prove catalyst for economic boom in this part of the country.
Mr Rana joined thousands of pilgrims to pay obeisance at the Kol Kandoli Temple and other destinations on the route. He prayed for peace, tranquility and universal brotherhood, the essence of the Sanatan Dharma, which believes in the universe to be a single family—Vasudeva Kutukmbkam.
The yatra carrying the Holy Jyot was profusely greeted by the people, queued on both sides of the road, with flower petals while chanting Mantras and Shalokas, up to the Oli Temple on the ancient route to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine on Trikuta Hills.
The residents had made elaborate arrangements of drinking water and refreshment for the devotees. The atmosphere was filled with gaiety and enthusiasm, as the devotees—men, women and children—kept reciting Bhajans in reverence of the Mata on the ongoing Navratras.
Elaborating on the need for proactive approach in execution of various projects related to pilgrim sites, Mr Rana said the ancient link, passing through serene environs and spiritual ambience, offers spiritual solace and Darshan of several revered temple which used to pre-requisite before embarking on the yatra to holy Bhawan on Trikuta Hills over seven decades ago.
He extended Navratra greetings to the devotees.According to the organizers of the Chari Yatra, the Navratra Festival at the Oli Temple will witness Bhaints and other religious programmes during the ongoing Navratras.