Vaishno Devi pilgrimage to resume from tomorrow; 2,000 visitors per day, Covid negative report mandatory; check other details
After a hiatus of nearly five months due to the Coronavirus outbreak in the country, pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi temple will re-open from Sunday. However, anticipating a huge number of Vaishno Devi devotees, the temple administration has decided to limit the number of devotees allowed to visit the deity on a particular day at 2,000 for the first week, in order to check the possibility of the spread of Coronavirus.
Chief Executive Officer of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVSB) told news agency PTI that there would be a cap of 2,000 visitors in a day for the first week. He also said that out of the 2,000 devotees, 1,900 would be from Jammu and Kashmir and the rest would be from other parts of the country. He further said the number of devotees to be allowed to visit the temple will be periodically reviewed in accordance with the prevailing situation.
With the cases of Covid-19 increasing consistently, all devotees visiting from different parts of the country will have to produce their negative COVID-19 test report after disembarking at the helipad. Similar measures will apply to those pilgrims who come from the Red zone districts from Jammu and Kashmir.
Among other restrictions, the temple administration has advised children below 10 years of age, pregnant women, senior citizens, and those suffering from comorbidities to refrain from visiting the temple. As is the case with every public place, all the pilgrims will need to mandatorily wear face masks and install the Aarogya Setu application on their mobile phones. Arrangements have also been made for thermal screening of all pilgrims at the entry gates of the temple. Ponies, horses, and palanquins will also not be allowed to ply on the route initially, according to the guidelines of the temple management.
The infrastructure of the temple has also made a shift towards digital with an aim to avoid overcrowding at any point. All the devotees will be provided with their registration receipt online and no registration process will be allowed at the registration counters on the premises of the temple. The pilgrimage to the temple situated in a hilly region of Trikuta hills was halted on March 18 by the temple management after the initial cases of COVID-19 started emerging in the country.