Crowds in Himachal temples with onset of Navratri festival

Crowds of devotees from across the region thronged temples in Himachal Pradesh on Monday on the first day of the nine-day-long Navratri festival dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine avatars.

The popular temples of Naina Devi in Bilaspur district; Chintpurni in Una district; Brajeshwari Devi, Jwalaji and Chamunda Devi in Kangra district; Bhimakali and Hateshwari in Shimla district; and Baba Balak Nath in Hamirpur district witnessed a huge rush.

A majority of the pilgrims came from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.

We are expecting over 20,000 devotees at the temple every day,” an official at the Naina Devi shrine told IANS over phone.

Devotees would be able to watch online live “darshan” of temples and would also be able to offer online offerings.

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 here told IANS.

The festival will conclude on October 5.

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