Shiv Khori Festival (Mela) 2013 Inaugurated
Ramsoo, (Shiv Khori) - Jammu March 09 - The 3-day revered Shiv Khori Mela was inaugurated by Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture, Mr. Raman Bhalla with massive prayers and religious festivity at Ransoo, the base camp of holy cave shrine of Shiv Khori about 130 kms from Jammu here today.
The Mela is being jointly organized by State Tourism Department, Shiv Khori Shrine Board and District Administration Reasi.
On the occasion, a colourful procession was also taken out in the town in praise of Lord Shiva followed by large numbers of religious cultural troops of Reasi district amidst cultural festivity.
Member Legislative Council Mr. Jugal Kishore Sharma, DIG, Udhampur-Reasi Range, Mr. Jagjit Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Reasi (Vice Chairman, SSKSB) Mrs. Nirmal Sharma, Senior Superintendent of Police, Reasi, Mr. Raghubir Singh, Joint Director Tourism, Mr. Shiv Kumar Gupta, Mela Officer, Mr. R.K Anand, Board Members besides senior officers of all other departments, prominent people of the Ransoo town and thousands of pilgrims were also present on the occasion.
Complimenting the people on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri, Mr. Bhalla prayed for communal harmony, peace and prosperity in the state. He said that Shiv Khori Shrine is bestowed with serenity and one could experience the spiritual manifestation at the sanctum sanctorum itself. He said that due to the sincere efforts of SSKSB and Tourism department, pilgrimage to the holy shrine is witnessing enormous increase in the rush of pilgrims after every passing year adding that the pilgrimage to the Shrine is touching the mark of 20 lacs presently. He hoped that yatra would touch new heights in future and the destination would be emerged as one of the famous pilgrim destinations in the tourist map of India.
For the holistic development of village Ransoo, the base camp of the cave shrine, the Minister said the Minister said that the Government has formulated a comprehensive master-plan Shiv Khori and its adjoining areas for the socio economic transformation of the people.
Elaborating on the Master Plan, he said five storied Yatri Niwas at holy cave shrine, Yagyashalla, View points, Darshani deodi have been completed to facilitate the pilgrims. Mr. Bhalla said that special efforts are being made to divert the pilgrimage rush from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi to other tourist and pilgrimage destinations in the state. For the purpose a comprehensive tourist circuit connecting various destinations having tourism potential is being chalked out, he added.
The Minister also appreciated the efforts of district administration for making all best possible arrangements which include security, drinking water, power supply, medicare facilities with ambulance, sanitation, fire services, yatra slip counter with announcement counter by the Information department and provision of blankets at the shrine for the smooth conduct of 3-day mela in the district.
Speaking on the occasion, the MLC, Mr. Jugal Kishore also greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri. He said that after the constitution of Shiv Khori Shrine Boaard, the famous shrine of Lord Shiv has witnessed a huge influx of pilgrims from different parts of the country. He said government is committed to develop this shrine and various facilities have been added for the visiting pilgrims to the shrine.
The District Development Commissioner, Reasi Mrs. Nirmal Sharma appreciated the role of Reasi and Katra people for their coordination for the successful conduct of inaugural function. The Joint Director Tourism in his welcome address, gave a detailed resume of various developmental activities taken up in the area for the facility of the yatries.
On the occasion, a colourful devotional cultural programme was also presented which was highly appreciated by the audience. Various social and religious organizations have arranged free langers for the visiting pilgrims at various locations of the base camp and enroute the cave shrine.