Jammu: The number of pilgrims visiting the Hindu shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi near here will be more than last year's 10 million, a temple official said Wednesday.
M.K. Bhandari, the additional chief executive officer of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, told IANS: "The number visiting the shrine this 'Navratra' was about 315,000.
"This year we are expecting the total number of pilgrims to cross the 10 million mark of last year," he said.
The number has already crossed 850,0000, which is four lakh more than the number up to this time last year.
The authorities are repairing and upgrading the 12-km mountainous trek from Katra, the base camp for the pilgrimage, to provide comfort for the pilgrims.
"We are adding toilet blocks and repairing the old ones," the officer said.
The Board was formed in 1986 to look after the management of the shrine.
The cave shrine is nestled in Trikuta Hills, at a height of 5,200 feet.
Katra is about 50 km north of Jammu. Pilgrims have 'darshans' of Goddess Durga in the sanctum sanctorum, which is in the form of three natural rock formations called 'pindies'.