Jai Mata Vaishno Devi
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
Maa Vaishno Devi
     
 
     
  Home >> About Mata Vaishno Devi >> Ban Ganga  
   
     
 

Ban Ganga

 
 
Ban Ganga : For many, a holy pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi means a dip in the Ban Ganga river which meanders around the sacred shrine. But this year there is disappointment in store as the river is almost dry. While some attribute this to developmental activities and the toll the huge number of pilgrims takes, others say things will improve with a good monsoon.

The river originates from a 200-foot- high cliff in the Samkhal area. "The Samkhal pond is almost dry following scarcity of rainfall in the last few years which has also dried up the Ban Ganga river," P.B. Gupta, assistant CEO of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), told IANS.

Gupta is, however, optimistic of a good monsoon: "We are optimistic that there will be good rainfall this year and expect things to improve."

However, Mangar Singh, who owns a hotel in Katra town, said: "I am saying this with a very heavy heart that Ban Ganga is virtually dead. I have been living here for the last 30 years and this is not the first time when there is less water in the river."

"Earlier, the river used to overflow between September and April but now its condition has turned dismal. There is hardly any water flowing in Ban Ganga," he said.

The Samkhal area is five kilometres away from Ardh Kunwari - half way between Katra town and Vaishno Devi shrine.

According to Hindu mythology, when demon Bhairon Nath chased goddess Vaishnavi she ran towards the Trikuta hill and on the way she felt thirsty and shot an arrow into the ground and the river was formed.

Concerns have been raised over ecological degradation on the Trikuta mountain range due to a huge influx of Vaishno Devi pilgrims and alleged felling of trees, which directly affects the Ban Ganga river.

Said an SMVDSB official at Vaishno Dham, Jammu: "Brisk developmental activities on the 13-km track from the Katra base camp to the cave shrine have been posing an ecological threat to the Trikuta hills and the biggest challenge before the board is to maintain the ecological balance."

According to records, every year more than six million pilgrims visit this shrine and to provide accommodation to these devotees, rampant construction has been going on which has in turn led to deforestation.

"See the level of development that has taken place in the area in the last 10 years...For development works, we need to cut mountains and fell a large number of trees - which is bound to disturb the ecological balance in the
hilly area," a senior board official said.

Even pilgrims are disappointed at the condition of the Ban Ganga river. "I visit Vaishno Devi twice a year during Navratri but this this time I am really disheartened to see the holy river running dry," Neha Bhaumik, a pilgrim from Bihar, told IANS.

Another devotee, Ratan Pandey, said: "I remember bathing in Ban Ganga every time we used to come to Vaishno Devi and I am very disappointed to see that there is hardly any water in the river. The river has mythological significance add eco-friendly steps should be taken to restore it."

Many believe Kashmir may be experiencing the effects of global warming, with high altitude glaciers melting at an unprecedented rate, threatening the eco-system of the valley.

Most of the small glaciers in Kashmir have melted completely, while the larger ones have been reduced in size. According to experts, this has resulted in the melting of the famous Sonmarg glaciers in Kashmir which is the starting point of the  Amarnath Yatra.

"Apart from global warming, there are several reasons for the melting of Sonmarg glaciers like deforestation, setting up of cement plants near forests and emission of carbon dioxide from factories," local environmentalist Mubsir Zilani said.

 
     
 
Mata Vaishno Devi Tour Booking
 
     
     
 
 
About Mata Vaisno Devi | Vaisno Devi History | Legend About Mata's Shrine | How To reach Mata Vaishno Devi | Yatra to Mata Vaishno Devi Darbar
Mata Vaishno Devi Bhavan | Mata Rani's Darshan | Mata Vaishno Devi Aarti | Mata Vaishna Devi Temple | Mata Vaishno Devi Image Gallery
Ban Ganga | Geeta Mandir | Charan Paduka| Adhkuwari | Sanjhi Chatt | Helipad | Bhawan | Darshan | Bhairon Mandir | Old Track | New Track
Mata Vaishno Devi Wall Papers | Mata Vaishno Devi Bhajan & Aarti | Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board | Accommodation
Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra By Helicopter | Places Near Katra | Katra Tourist Attractions | Katra Hotels | About Katra | Climate of Katra | How To Reach Katra
Katra Facts & Figures | Katra Tourist Offices | Bank ATM in Katra | Banks in Katra
This is only a informative website.We have no link or contact with Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
Sitemap | XML Sitemap