Jammu, Apr 3 : Witnessing decline in the first three months of 2019, as compared to the last year, over 12 lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance at the Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine situated in mountainous Trikuta Hills of Katra town in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pertinent to mention here that in 2018, the pilgrimage to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine, witnessed slump in the previous five years and broke all records as the yatra crossed 84 lakh mark. According to the official sources here, in the first three months of the corresponding year, 12,33,088 lakh pilgrims visited to the cave shrine as compared to the last year where the number of pilgrims was recorded as 16,85,959.
''Last year Vaishno Devi yatra was high as record number of more than 84 lakh pilgrims visited to the cave shrine including highest in the first three months'', sources added.
They said that this year, 12,33,988 pilgrims visited to the Vaishno Devi thus making a difference of 4,51,971 lakh.
Sources said that in January 50,18,80 prilgrims paid obeisance, in February around 26,9739 visited and in March, 46,23,69 pilgrims reached to the cave shrine adding, that ' in 2018, in the first three months of the yatra 5,45,945 pilgrims visited in January, in February it was 3,43,162 and in March it was 7,96,852''.
In April, 2018, it was 7,28,666, in May 9,44,614 paid obeisance, June was recorded highest as 11,61,329 paid homage, in July the footfall was recorded at 7,48,713, in August it was 6,90,646, in September it was 6,80,373 and in October it was 7,99,596.
In 2017, the total yatra was recorded 81.78 lakhs.
In 2013, record one crore pilgrims visited to the cave shrine and paid obeisance but after that the pilgrimage declined due to the security situation and other reasons, happenings in the state.
As per official record, in 2014, the pilgrimage was 7803193, in 2015, it was 7776604, in 2016, it was 7723721 and in 2017 it was 8178318.
Meanwhile,the start of Bhawan-Bhairon ghati ropeway also gave further push to the pilgrimage. UNI