President visits Vaishno Devi shrine

Katra (J-K): President Pratibha Patil today paid obeisance at the Vaishno Devi Shrine here situated at the Trikuta Hills in Jammu and Kashmir.

Patil, who flew to the shrine, offered prayers this morning during her hour-long visit at the hill shrine. She also held a meeting with the members of the Shrine Board to take stock of the management of the shrine.

Elaborate security arrangements were made for the President`s visit to the holy cave shrine situated at an altitude of 52,000 ft.

Visitors have to undertake a trek of nearly 12 km from Katra to reach there. About 87.50 lakh faithfuls had visited the shrine last year while more than nine lakh yatris had visited in October.

The President, who is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, had on Friday visited the ancient Raghunathji temple in Jammu and presided over the convocation ceremony of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU).