Himachal temples see rush with start of Navratri

Shimla, April 8 (IANS) Tens of thousands of devotees thronged temples in Himachal Pradesh on Friday to mark the start of the eight-day-long Chaitra Navratri festival.

Necessary arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the festival, an official at the Brajeshwari Devi shrine told IANS.

He said they are expecting over 25,000 people every day. On the last two days of the festival, the temple would open for devotees at 2.30 a.m. It normally closes at 10 p.m.

The festival will conclude with Ram Navami on April 15.

One of the most venerated shrines in north India, the Brajeshwari Devi temple in Kangra town sees a majority of pilgrims from Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

Also drawing thousands of devotees are Chintpurni temple in Una district, Baba Balak Nath temple in Hamirpur district, Naina Devi temple in Bilaspur district, Jwalaji and Chamunda Devi temples in Kangra district, and Bhimakali and Hateshwari temples in Shimla district.

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