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KATRA: The All India Devotional Song Competition being organised as part of the Navratra Festival today entered second day. The competition was inaugurated by lighting   traditional lamp by the chief guest, Deputy Commissioner Udhampur, Ravinder Kumar. The competition is being organised at Yog Ashram Complex. The Devotional Song Competition was adjudged by the panel of experts in music including Celebrity Singer Masha Ali, Dr Usha Bhagati Ex HOD Music P.G.M.A.M College Jammu, & Dr. Surinder Sharma Head of the department Govt. Degree College Sanjoli Himachal Pradesh.

In preliminary round of competition Saisha Gupta from Jammu took 1st position & 2nd position was shared by Rakesh Malhotra from Jammu &Malkit Kadri from Punjab and 3rd position was held by Aditya Langeh from Jammu.  Among the 10 auditioned participants four are from outside state & 06   from within state. They were provided with the cash prizes of 10,000/- , 5,000/-and 3,000/- respectively.

All India Devotional Song Competition is being organised by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and J&K Tourism Department in association with J&K Bank and other private sponsors. Other famous singers who are lined up for their guest performances in upcoming days of the 8 day festival include, Manu Vandanaand& Ravi Kumar on 13thOct, Sunil Mattu&Rajan Gill on 14th Oct., Amrinder Bobby on 15th Oct., Sonali Dogra &Anjusha on 16th Oct. and Balkar Sidhu &Pawni Pandey on 17th Oct. The event is being telecast live on Shradha Mh one from 9 PM onwards daily.

The first position holders of daily competition will compete with the winners of the quarter final on 16th of Oct , for their entry into final and the quarter final will be held on 15th Oct. which will be of 2nd & 3rd position holders of daily competition. In another event, a shobha-yatra was paraded in presence of the chief guest, DC Udhampur, Ravinder Kumar. In the event, artists performed various cultural dances like Kud, Fultru, Hiran dance, Rajasthani dance and a presentation of Jaatar, a traditional form of worship. Those present at the event were SDM Katra, Ashok Sharma, AD Tourism Katra, Dr Umesh Shan, Rakesh Wazir among others.

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  • Cultural shows, religious processions, contests to mark celebrations

KATRA: The annual Navratra Festival today commenced with a ‘Shobha Yatra’ here in the holy town of Katra located in the foothills of Trikuta Mountains. The yatra was inaugurated by Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma who is also the Chairman of the Navratra Festival Committee. The yatra started with Kanjak Poojan from Asia Chowk and passed through bus stand via main bazar.

The colourful ‘shobha yatra,’ comprising a large number of events like Gittdu, Lok Naritya, Kashmiri Naritya, Dogri Naritya, showcased the culture and tradition of the State. The presentation of local folk dance and music by artists of Regional Outreach Bureau (Ministry of Information & Broadcasting)and J&K Academy of Art culture and Languages was highly applauded by the participants.

Deputy Commissioner Reasi, Prasanna Ramaswamy G, Director Tourism, O P Bhagat, SSP Reasi, Nisha Nathyal, CEO KDA, Jagdish Mehra, Deputy Director Tourism, S K Attri, Additional Chief Executive Officer Shrine Board, Anshul Garg, GM JKTDC, Vinakshi Koul, SDM Katra, Ashok Kumar, representative of Regional Outreach Bureau, Durga Parkash and other senior officers accompanied the Div Com during the  yatra.

The shoba yatra culminated at bus stand Katra where the main function was organised. The Div Com along with other guests lighted the traditional lamp. The festival will be marked by various events like Shobha Yatras, cultural programmes, devotional songs competition, religious discourses, international wrestling competition and many more, for which various organizational sub-committees have been constituted to make this event a grand success.

Extending greetings to the people, the Div Com said this annual festival provides an opportunity to the devotees to have a glimpse of rich cultural heritage and peaceful co-existence of people of different faiths in the region. “The festival has a special significance as the sacred shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi attracts a large number of pilgrims from within and outside the country during these days,” he said.

While appreciating every stakeholder associated with the festival, he hoped that the festival would gain new heights in the days to come. Appreciating the people of Katra for their untiring efforts in creating facilities for the pilgrims, the Div Com said that the town has achieved manifold development over the years with the blessing of the Goddess. He said that pilgrims are our honored guests and we should do as much as we can to facilitate them.

He also appreciated municipal committee for the sceneries and images depicting the rich folk culture painted around the town. Earlier, in his welcome address, Director Tourism, O P Bhagat said the festival would help in attracting more and more pilgrims to the shrine and it is expected that their number would cross the last year’s record mark. The festival would also help in diverting a large number of pilgrims to other important pilgrim and tourist destinations in the area, he added and  informed about the activities being organised to celebrate the Navratra Festival.

Tight security arrangements have been put in place and the (CRPF) have increased vigil at Katra and the route leading to the shrine. Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and the J&K Tourism Department have made extensive arrangements for Navaratras. The track leading to the shrine has adequate water, power supply and proper sanitation facility. Further, special eatables for the ones fasting will be available at the bhojanalayas (eateries) of the shrine board.

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SRINAGAR: Governor Satya Pal Malik has greeted the people on the commencement of the auspicious period of Navratras and prayed for communal harmony, brotherhood, peace, progress and prosperity in the State.  In a message of greetings, the Governor said that in Jammu and Kashmir the Navratras have an added significance as, during this period, the Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji Shrine attracts a very large number of pilgrims from all parts of the country. On this joyous occasion, the Governor prayed for the well-being of the people of the State.