Dr Jitendra Singh meets devotees reaching Ayodhya by Special Train from Katra

Ayodhya : As a very solemn gesture, Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh was personally present here today to meet and welcome the devotees travelling in Special “Aastha” Train from Katra-Vaishnodevi who reached the holy city this morning to pay obeisance at the newly constructed Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir.

The first Special Train of pilgrims from Katra reached Ayodhya this morning and carried devotees mostly from Udhampur and Reasi besides Jammu. This is the first of the special ‘Aastha’ trains originating from Katra station, operated by the Northern Railways to facilitate this sacred journey.

“Aastha Specials” trains, each comprising 22 coaches, have been announced by the Indian Railways connecting 66 locations across the country, to facilitate pilgrimage to Ayodhya following the inauguration of the Ram Temple on 22nd January 2024.

Devotees from Udhampur, Reasi and Jammu districts were pleased to have among them the Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, who also accompanied the pilgrims to offer prayers at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir.

“It is a divine coincidence under the leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi that it has been possible to connect the holy cities of Katra-Vaisnodevi and Ayodhya because of Ram Lalla,” said Dr Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space.

While the whole world is lauding the consecration of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya, Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that Prime Minister Modi has a special bond with Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.

Soon after being named as Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 general election, Shri Narendra Modi had kicked off his election campaign after paying obeisance at the Mata Vaishno Devi temple, revealed Dr Jitendra Singh.

And again, after being sworn in as the Prime Minister in May, 2014, one of the first major programmes attended by him was the inauguration of the Katra -Vaishno Devi Railway Station.

Soon after, on the directions of PM Modi, Katra Railway Station was converted to solar-power because of the rich sunshine that it receives, said Dr Jitendra Singh, adding that several other railway stations of the country also followed the same precedent.

Dr Jitendra Singh, who represents Udhampur constituency in the Lok Sabha, said, similarly, under Prime Minister Modi, Katra Vaishno Devi got Express road corridor from New Delhi, two instead of one Vande Bharat Express trains and Katra was included in the PRASHAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive) scheme.

While the devotees will have an opportunity to pay obeisance at Ayodhya, they will be also carrying the blessings of Mata Vaishno Devi all the way to the Ram Lalla Temple in Ayodhya, said Dr Jitendra Singh.