Jammu, Sep 13 : This navratri, Vaishno Devi pilgrims will be welcomed with ‘golden gate’ at the entrance of natural cave situated in Trikuta Hills of Katra town in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board is working round the clock to give ‘golden’ look to the entrance of natural cave, the work on which is nearing its completion. The pilgrims will have ‘golden darshan’ at the entrance of the cave shrine besides offering prayers inside while paying obeisance to natural ‘pindies’. Chief Executive Officer of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Dr Simrandeep Singh here said that the ‘golden’ entranced will be carved with pictures of Gods and Goddesses, adding, ''The golden entrance will have a dome, three golden flags and a huge ‘golden chattar’ besides pictures of Mata Vaishno Devi depicting her nine looks like Mahagauri, Sidhidatri, Kalratri, Chamunda etc.''
''On the right side of an entrance a six-feet tall golden picture of Goddess Laxmi will be printed and on the left side, Arti (special prayer chamber) of the Goddess will be placed in the center of the ‘dawar’, 25-kg bell made of silver and gold will be seen hanging,`` said an official. He further added that the golden picture of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva with Sun God and Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman will also be seen.
''To strengthen the entrance for coming years and make it more durable, 1000 kg copper, 1000 kg silver metals are used to make idols and pictures with 10-kg gold,'' a Shrine Board official said. ''As many as 20 artisans from different parts of the country, who have expertise in making such items, are working day and night in a special workshop set up at Bhawan to give final touch to the ‘dawar’, which is likely to be installed ahead of Navratri,'' said the CEO.
He said the entrance of Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine is being revamped for the third time. As per official records, before 1962, ancient or natural cave was the only source for pilgrims to have ‘darshans’ but in the same year, one of the retired officials of a national bank visited Vaishno Devi, and he was the first to put marble at the entrance of this ancient cave, which continued till the year 2005.
And in the year 2005, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board renovated it with "Makrana" marble at the entrance of the cave, said an official adding, ''but from time to time, the voice of the religious faith kept echoing that wherever there is the abode of Goddess Lakshmi or Goddesses, the entrance should be yellow in colour because the famous pilgrimage centers of Indian temples, especially in the western states, have golden entrances.''
Dr Singh further said that the idea was started by the Board in the 64th Board Meeting and it was decided that the entrance to the ancient cave of Mata Vaishno Devi should be made with gold on which work has started in full swing. ''Along with people associated with faith, the dream of millions of devotees is also going to come true,'' he added and said that in the coming days, the Shrine Board will make the devotees pay obeisance to the golden entrance,” said the CEO.
The preparations for this "golden gateway" are in the final stage, he said adding that this golden entrance will be opened for the devotees soon in days after special prayers will be offered and added, ''the devotees can have a glimpse of golden entrance at the cave''. Dr Singh asserted that this was an important project of the board and after this, the decision will be taken by the Board members about when the entrance to the artificial caves of Mata Vaishno Devi will be made golden. ''As soon as the submissions are received from the board members, work will be started on making the entrance of artificial caves golden,'' he said. (UNI)