7.7 mn pilgrims visit Vaishno Devi in 2015

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About 7.7 million pilgrims visited holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi ji during 2015 recording a decline of 26,589 over 2014 and 15.47 lakh over 2013 even as all time high 50,215 yatris paid obeisance to the Goddess in Trikuta Hills at the height of 5200 feet from the sea level yesterday on the eve of New Year.
Since 2011 when the yatra to Mata Vaishno Devi had, for the first time, crossed one crore mark, it has maintained the declining trend. While 1.04 crore people had visited the Bhawan in 2012 and compared to that, the yatra has recorded sharp decline of about 27 lakh this year.
Official sources told the  that 77,76,604 yatris paid obeisance to natural pindies of Goddess Vaishno Devi during 2015 as against 78,03,193 in 2014 and 93,23,647 in 2013. The yatra marginally decline by 26,589 in 2015 as compared to 2014. But compared to 2013, the decrease was 15,47,043.
In 2011, 1.01 crores and in 2012, 1.04 crore pilgrims had visited Mata Vaishno Devi shrine. These were the only two years, when the pilgrimage had exceeded 10 million mark.
Pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi was just 13.95 lakh in 1986 when Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) had taken over affairs of the shrine. Since then, the yatra continued to go up every year creating new records but it fell down during past two years of 2013 and 2014 due to variety of natural reasons including Kedarnath ji tragedy in 2013 followed by tensions on the International Border in 2013 and 2014 and September 2014 flood.
It was for the first time in 1991 that the pilgrimage had crossed 3 million (31.15 lakh). The 4 million mark had reached in 1996 while the yatra reached 50 lakh in 2000 and 60 lakh in 2004. It was in 2007 that the yatra stood at 74.17 lakh.
The pilgrimage came down to 67.92 lakh in 2008 due to two months long Amarnath land agitation but again went up to 82 lakh in 2009 and reached 87.2 lakh in 2010. It was for the first time in 2011 that the yatra crossed 10 million mark and stood at 1.01 crore.
In the month of January 2015, 3,59,453 pilgrims paid obeisance to Goddess Vaishno Devi as against 3,71,649 in 2014 and 4,36,021 in 2013. In February, 2015 the number of pilgrims stood at 2,89,460 as against 2,84,720 in 2014 and 3,49,433 in 2013.
The pilgrimage in March 2015 jumped to 6,17,785 in 2015 but the number was still down as compared to 2014 (6,62,889) and 2013 (7,87,659). In April 2015, the yatra came down to 5,97,472 as against whopping figure of 10,32,301 in 2013 and 7,49,145 in 2014. In May 2015, the yatra stood at 8,17,029 as compared to 8,12,265 in 2014 and 9,88,051 in 2013.
As usual, the month of June witnessed maximum rush to the cave shrine with 11,25,747 pilgrims visiting the Bhawan as against 11,17,934 in 2014 and 12,68,313 in 2013. However, in July, the number came down to 7,75,567 as compared to 9,53924 in 2014 and 8,46,693 in 2013.
In August 2015, 6,69,633 pilgrims paid obeisance to Goddess Vaishno Devi while the number was 8.90.348 in 2014 and 7,66,625 in 2013. In September 2015, 6,73,925 yatris visited the cave shrine as against 4,19,862 in 2014 and 8,32,183 in 2013.
Number of the yatris visiting the shrine in October 2015 stood at 7,94,623 as against 6,43,990 in 2014 and 9,85,432 in 2013. In November, 2015, the pilgrimage stood at 5,55,019 as compared to 4,86,971 in 2014 and 5,62,160 in 2013. Just ended December 2015 drew 5,00,891 yatris to Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan as against 4,09,496 in 2014 and 4,68,776 in 2013.

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