Devotees throng Himachal temples as Navratri begins

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New Delhi : Thousands of devotees thronged temples in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday on the first day of the nine-day long Chaitra Navratri festival.

"Special arrangement has made to tackle the rush during the Navrati festival. We are expecting more than 50,000 people every day at the Brajeshwari Devi shrine," Sub-Divisional Magistrate Debasweta Banik said.

One of the most famous shrines in north India, the Brajeshwari Devi temple in Kangra town, seat of one of the 52 Shakti peeths, sees a majority of pilgrims from Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

Likewise, a huge rush was seen at the popular shrine of Chintpurni in Una, Baba Balak Nath in Hamirpur, Naina Devi temple in Bilaspur, Jwalaji and Chamunda Devi in Kangra, and Bhimakali and Hateshwari in Shimla district.

More than 750 police and Home Guards personnel have been deployed for security in the Chintpurni temple premises to tackle the rush, an official said. This temple normally attracts more than six lakh devotees every year.

The Chaitra Navratri festival will conclude with Ram Navami April 5.

Himachal Pradesh is known as the 'land of gods'. It has 28 prominent temples, most of which are in Kangra, Una, Bilaspur and Shimla districts.