12.72 lakh devotee arrivals during navratras boosts Himachal tourism
It was for the first time that the state police started collecting data of arrival of devotees during the Navratri, an annual Hindu festival observed in honour of the goddess Durga
In a much-needed boost to the state’s tourism industry that suffered huge losses due to monsoon disaster, more than 12.72 lakh devotees visited Himachal’s major temples during Navratri, police data showed.
It was for the first time that the state police started collecting data of arrival of devotees during the Navratri, an annual Hindu festival observed in honour of the goddess Durga, an aspect of Adi Parashakti, the supreme goddess. This year’s Navratri festivities were held between October 15 till October 23.
Himachal has four “shaktipeethas” — Naina Devi, Chintpurni, Jawalaji and Bajreshwari Devi — besides several other temples dedicated to Goddess Durga.
Tourists from across the country, primarily north Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand visit these temples during Navratri.
As per the police record highest influx of 3.34 lakh devotees was witnessed at the Naina Devi temple in Bilaspur district. Located near the Punjab border the temple is also richest shrine in the state.
More than 2.91 lakh devotees, meanwhile, visited Mata Bala Sundari in Sirmaur district, while 1.37 lakh devotees offered prayers at Chintapurni in Una district.
Kangra’s three major temples dedicated to Goddess Durga including Jwalaji, Bajreshwari Devi, and Chamunda saw 1.37 lakh, 1.36 lakh and 1.11 lakh devotees arriving to pay reverence during the nine-day festival. More than 31,000 devotees visited the Baglamukhi temple of Kangra.
Additionally, 44,400 devotees visited Hatkoti temple, 28,700 Tara Devi and 25,200 Kalibari temple in Shimla district.
Director general of police Sanjay Kundu said the state police recorded the arrival of nearly 1 lakh vehicles at these temples during the festive period. He added that proper arrangements to ensure the safety of devotees and management of law-and-order and traffic had been put in place.
“Adequate force from Indian Reserve Battalions (IRBs) along with the district police had been deployed in all the shrines,” he said, highlighting that the festivities were carried out smoothly across the state.