Jammu, Dec 31: Jammu and Kashmir ended 2011 Saturday with the visit of a record number of nearly 12 million tourists and pilgrims to the state, a number which Governor N.N. Vohra said has given a ‘significant boost to the economy of the state’.
Vohra, who also is chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine board and Shri Amarnath Shrine Board which manage the two major pilgrimages in the state, highlighted that how more than 10 million pilgrims had visited Vaishno Devi shrine in 2011.
On Dec 28, Vaishno Devi recorded, for the first time in its history, the visit of 10 million pilgrims visiting the shrine, located in the foothills of Himalayas, about 50 km north of Jammu, in a single calendar year.
Earlier, in August, Amarnath shrine, located at the height of 3,888 meters above sea level, had recorded highest ever number of 635,000 pilgrims.
Commenting upon the figures, Vohra, in his New Year message, said: ‘In 2011, nearly 11 lakh tourists visited the state, a record number of over one crore pilgrims visited the Holy Cave shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji, and more than 6.35 lakh yatris visited Shri Amarnathji Shrine. The arrival of nearly 1.18 crore visitors to J&K gave a very significant boost to the economy of the state.’
The governor appealed to all segments of society and shades of opinion to join hands for ensuring the maintenance of sustained normalcy in all parts of the state, to enable the developmental process being speeded up, to alleviate the difficulties faced by the common man.