Katra: Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today inaugurated the Navratra Festival 2023 in a glittering event that was held at Yog Ashram, Katra.
The inaugural ceremony commenced with a traditional Puja amid chanting of religious mantras, accompanied by a formal reception of all esteemed guests through the presentation of Pagris, Pitambars and Mata ki Chunaries. Renowned artist groups presented a vibrant cultural and devotional program, captivating the audience with their mesmerizing performances.
Principal Secretary PDD , H.Rajesh Prasad; Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, DIG Udhampur-Reasi Range, Suleman Choudhary; Deputy Commissioner Reasi, Babila Rakwal; CEO Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Anshul Garg; Director Tourism, Jammu, Vivekanand Rai; SSP Reasi, Amit Gupta; ADDC Reasi, Rani Jyoti Slathia and PRIs representatives among other notable dignitaries were present on the occasion.
During his inaugural address, Chief Secretary, emphasized the Administration’s commitment to providing high-quality services to tourists visiting Katra. He extended his heartfelt congratulations to the local community on the auspicious occasion of Navratras and conveyed warm greetings. He further emphasized that truth always triumphs, and the epic Ramayana beautifully illustrates this timeless lesson.
Divisional Commissioner, Jammu expressed his appreciation for the collective efforts of the Tourism Department, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, District Administration Reasi, Central Bureau of Communication, and all other agencies that contributed to the successful organization of the festival.
CEO SMVD extended a warm welcome to the guests, emphasizing that Navratras signify the dawn of fresh beginnings and spiritual rejuvenation.
The Navratra Festival, which was initiated in 1996, has evolved into an event of grand proportions. Thousands of people congregate not only to pay their respects to Maa Vaishno Devi Ji but also to partake in the grand festivities. During these Navratras, Katra and Jammu come alive with bright lights, colorful drapes, and the melodious tunes of folk and devotional music.
The main highlights of the nine-day event taking place in Katra from 15th to 23rd of October, 2023, include Ramleela, All India Devotional Song Competition, Bhagwat Katha, Prabhat Pheri, Shobha Yatra, Mata Ki Kahani, Laser Show narrating Mata Ki Kahani, Wrestling Competition, Hassaya Vyang and Devotional dances, Kavi Sammelan,Program by Specially abled children among others. Furthermore, a cultural program and multimedia exhibition organized by the Central Bureau of Communication will be held at Higher Secondary School, Katra, where artists from across India will showcase their diverse art forms.
At the end of today’s ceremony the vote of thanks was presented by Director Tourism, Jammu, who expressed his gratitude and appreciation to all the stakeholders for their unwavering commitment and overwhelming support for the successful celebration of this festival.