Having nosedived to a mere 5000 pilgrims visiting the Vaishnodevi shrine in Jammu following the terror attack at the CRPF convoy in Pulwama in February, their number on Saturday swelled to 47, 369 in a single day.
This was the highest number of pilgrims so far visiting the holy cave shrine in a single day during this calendar year, said Simrandeep Singh, chief executive officer of the Shrine Board.
The number of pilgrims had dipped to about 5000 during the days of Pulwama attack and the events thereafter, said Singh. As many as 32.76 lakh pilgrims have so far visited the shrine during this year, he said.
The shrine is witnessing a huge rush of pilgrims due to the summer vacations in schools and colleges elsewhere in the country and the hotels and helicopter seats are booked to their full capacity in advance.
Ever since the inception of the Shrine Board in 1986, the Holy Shrine of Vaishno Devi has witnessed an ever-increasing number of devotees. The number of pilgrims that stood at 13.96 lakh in the year 1986, increased to the highest ever figure of 1.5 crore in 2012. The number had for the first time crossed the 1 crore mark in 2011 when 1.1 crore pilgrims visited the shrine.
Thereafter, the figure declined and touched a low of 77.23 lakh in 2016 when Kashmir witnessed large scale violence in which several lives were lost. Although Jammu was not affected by the violence media reports of the violent incidents in Kashmir kept away the pilgrims and tourists.
Thereafter the number of pilgrims steadily started increasing and the figure was 85.87 lakh last year.