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Vaishno Devi pilgrimage resumes after forest fire

IANS
Jun 23, 2012 at 01:52pm IST

Jammu: Pilgrimage to the Hindu shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi near Jammu resumed on Saturday morning after it was suspended due to a forest fire.

The fire broke out on Friday evening in the forests near Adhkunwari, six kilometres from the Katra base camp. It started spreading fast and reached close to the trek.

The blaze had stranded a large number of pilgrims.

Vaishno Devi pilgrimage resumes after forest fire

The fire broke out on Friday evening in the forests near Adhkunwari, six kilometres from the Katra base camp.

The inferno was brought under control after hectic efforts of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) and others working in synergy, a board official said. There was no damage to property or injury to any pilgrim.

"The pilgrimage was suspended immediately as precautionary measure for safety of the pilgrimage," the official added.

There is a heavy rush of pilgrims visiting the famous shrine with about 40,000 arriving in Katra everyday from different parts of the country.

Fire in pine forests of Jammu are common in intense heat conditions.

The shrine, dedicated to Goddess Durga, has three natural rock formation called "pindies".

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