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Jammu: Forest fire in Trikuta hills, 25,000 Vaishno Devi pilgrims stranded

Jammu: Forest fire in Trikuta hills, 25,000 Vaishno Devi pilgrims stranded
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JAMMU: At least 25,000 pilgrims to Vaishno Devi shrine were stranded at Katra in Jammu’s Reasi district after a massive forest fire broke out in Trikuta hills.

Authorities have suspended the pilgrimage from one of the two tracks that lead to the hill shrine. An official of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine board (SMVDSB) said that the new “battery car track” route was cordoned off and rescue operations started to evacuate stranded pilgrims. Visitors, however, can still use the old track to visit the shrine.

“Around 20,000 devotees from across India are stranded in Katra due to closure of registration counter to avoid rush on the old track in view of the forest fire. At least 2500-3000 pilgrims are also stranded at the Bhavan (holy cave shrine),” the official said.

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