This year, more than 93.50 lakh pilgrims have visited the cave shrine of Vaishno Devi, marking the greatest number of visitors in ten years. As of Monday, the number of visitors to the temple in Jammu’s Reasi District’s Trikuta Hills had surged from 93.24 lakh in 2013 to 93.50 lakh, according to shrine officials. Anshul Garg, chief executive officer of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, stated that the pilgrimage, which set a new record with over 93.24 lakh participants, is the largest in the previous ten years. With 1,04,09,569 devotees in 2012—the biggest number in the pilgrimage journey’s history—it was followed by 1,01,15,647 in 2011.
According to Grag, every day between 37,000 and 44,000 devotees make the journey to the temple; he anticipates that number to rise to 50,000 by the end of the year. According to the projection, more than 95 lakh devotees are expected to attend this year to receive the diety’s darshan. Some facilities have recently been added to the site, such as the skywalk at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan and Durga Bhavan. President Droupadi Murmu opened the skywalk and renovated Parvati Bhavan in October. Furthermore, the shrine base camp in Katra now has a cutting-edge call center that runs around the clock and answers close to 2500 calls from pilgrims every day from all over the world.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha introduced a “live darshan” service for the followers in October.
In July, Katra town in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi District experienced the most rainfall in the previous forty-three years. The new track to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine has been closed to pilgrims due to the risk of a landslide. Due to bad weather, helicopter service to the shrine has also been discontinued. Nontheless, according to reports, pilgrims still travel the ancient route to visit the shrine perched atop the Trikuta Hills.
Due to the weather, the new trail has been closed for Yatra because of the risk of a landslide. But according to Anshul Garg, CEO of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), the yatra is continuing on its previous course. In a 24-hour period, Katra, the pilgrim’s base camp near the Vaishno Devi Shrine, saw 315.4mm of rain. Since 1980, this has been the heaviest rainfall. 292.4mm of rain fell on July 31, 2019, according to a weather department officer in Katra.
Sart Shah Rukh Khan paid a visit to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in December, a few days before his movie “Dunki” was released. The 58-year-old actor was observed strolling inside Mata Vaishno Devi-Katra Bhawan, looking almost unnoticeable in a black hoodie. Pooja Dadlani, Shah Rukh’s manager, and his security details were with him. He has been to the temple three times this year. Before his movies “Jawan” and “Pathan” were released in August and December of 2022, the actor paid visits to the shrine.