JK News Today


Underscoring the need for connecting pilgrim tourism with leisure and adventure tourism to harness the huge potential of Jammu, Provincial President National Conference Mr Devender Singh Rana on Sunday said that promotion of the ancient route to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine via Nagrota Constituency could be a major stride towards this direction.

“To blend religious tourism with leisure tourism, a massive infrastructural development may be required, preferably as part of national project, with avowed objective of giving boost to Jammu economy”, Mr Rana said while flagging-off Showa Mata Yatra from Janipur here.

Located in Showa village, 30 kilometers from here, the sanctum sanctorum of Mata Showa Cave is in the midst of magnificent hillocks. The ancient Holy Cave is abode of five Pindies of Mata Vaishno Mata, Showa Mata, Kali Mata, Lakshmi Mata and Sarwaswati Mata. According to legend, this cave leads to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and inside it is naturally formed Shiv Lingham, akin to Shri Amarnath Cave, on which water droplets fall from the roof top of the cave.

Wishing the devout a blissful Yatra, Mr Rana said such pilgrimages will help in bringing people together in true spirit of the pluralistic ethos of the Duggarland. He said every yatra in the region or Jammu and Kashmir as such is unthinkable without the active participation of people belonging to different faiths. This is the greatest strength of the State’s unity in diversity, which is needed to be sustained and bequeathed to generations, he said and hoped that those embarking on the pilgrimage would pray for peace and well-being of the people.

Elaborating on the connect between pilgrim and leisure tourism, Mr Rana called for launching a pilot project in the Nagrota Assembly Constituency—the gateway to scenic Kashmir Valley, adventurous Ladakh Region and Darshan Deodi to the holy pilgrimages of Mata Vaishno Devi and Shri Amarnathji. He said Surinsar Lake could be developed as a major centre of tourist attraction, especially as over ten million pilgrims were thronging from various parts of the country to pay obeisance at the Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine. Besides, it could be a hangout place for the people of Jammu, being in close vicinity of the temple city.

The MLA Nagrota seized the occasion and reiterated that since the old route from Jammu to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji Shrine passes through Nagrota constituency, it could be developed for adding more spiritual bliss to the pilgrimage. A lot of ancient temples are located on this track, which are living testimony to the Ganga- Jamuna civilization of Jammu but unfortunately this route has neither been developed by the Tourism Department not by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. Since, this route has the potential of being an attraction for the pilgrims because of shorter distance, adequate measures are needed to be taken for developing it in a phased manner.  Apart from being a big facility for visiting pilgrims, the upgradition of the track can lead to the development of entire area in the wake of pilgrim traffic. This can be an alternate route to Katra, he added.

Prominent among those present at the flagging-off ceremony included former minister Babu Ram Pal besides Amit Kapoor,Ashok Singh Manhas, Isher Dass, Rakesh Singh, Ravi Dogra, Rekha Langeh, Arun Singh, Vikram Singh, Rohit Bali and others