Rush in Himachal temples on onset of ‘Navratras’

Shimla, Oct 13 (IANS) Tens of thousands of devotees assembled in different parts of Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday and offered prayers on the onset of the nine-day “Navratras”, considered an auspicious period by Hindus.

One of the busiest shrines in north India, the hilltop Naina Devi temple in Bilaspur district saw a majority of pilgrims from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.

The popular shrines of Chintpurni in Una district and Jwalaji and Brajeshwari Devi temples in Kangra district witnessed a huge rush.

“We are expecting a daily arrival of 30,000 to 40,000 devotees during the Navratras,” an official at the Naina Devi shrine told IANS.

He said the temple would remain close only for two hours a day during the nine-day period.

However, the ban on offering coconuts would continue at all the prominent temples as a precautionary measure against terror attacks.

Security has been beefed up and closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed to manage the crowd in all the prominent shrines, a senior police official told IANS.

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