Thousands of devotees from across the region thronged temples in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday on the first day of the Navratri festival. The popular temples of Naina Devi in Bilaspur district, Chintpurni in Una district, Baba Balak Nath in Hamirpur district, Brajeshwari Devi, Jwalaji and Chamunda Devi in Kangra district and Bhimakali and Hateshwari in Shimla district witnessed huge rush.
A majority of the pilgrims came from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
“We are expecting over 20,000 devotees every day at the temple,” an official at the hilltop Naina Devi shrine said.
He said the senior citizens and physically challenged devotees would be allowed entry into the shrine through lifts. The offering of coconut in the temple has been banned this time owing to security reasons.
Devotees would be able to watch live “darshan” of Brajeshwari Devi, Naina Devi, Chintpurni and Jwalaji temples. They would also be able to offer online offerings.
The festival will conclude on September 30 with the Dussehra celebrations.