For facilitating on-foot pilgrims who use the scenic Tarakote Marg for their journey to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, on the directions of Governor N. N. Vohra, Chairman of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, a hi-tech Multipurpose Audio System is being installed on this track, from Katra to Adhkuwari.
This Audio System is being installed through M/s Bose Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. at an estimated cost of Rs. 4.66 crore, which includes operational and maintenance cost for 5 years. Besides 15 booths, 550 speakers are being installed along the Tarakote Marg for the facilitation of pilgrims.
After this system becomes operational by December this year, it shall play devotional music and spiritual songs which have been specially composed under the guidance of Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Santoor maestro (and Member Shrine Board), which shall comprise “Chants”, “Mantras”, “Stotras”, Bhaints and devotional music in Dogri language.
It may be recalled that a similar Multipurpose Audio System is operational along the pilgrimage tracks from Darshani Deodi to Bhawan and Bharion since April 2016 and has been widely appreciated by the visiting pilgrims. It has ensured reliable and real time dissemination of informative advisories and announcements, besides enhancing the ambience for pilgrims moving on the tracks through playing of devotional music.
Installed earlier at a cost of Rs. 10 crore, this state-of-the-art Audio System also has the provision for linkage to various establishments (located along the track and in Katra) through CCTV, LAN, EPABX facilities and public announcements in the event of any emergency or disaster situations.
The Audio System operational on 22 km OFC backbone has been divided into 5 zones of Darshani Deodi, Adhkuwari, Sanjichhat, Bhairon and Bhawan. All the 46 air-conditioned booths enroute are linked with two main control rooms established at Darshani Deodi and Bhawan from where announcements along with the playing of spiritual music can be carried out in any one or all the 5 sectors through the 1428 BOSE speakers installed on the track. Moreover, announcements for pilgrims can also be made from Adhkuwari, Sanjichhat and Bhairon in the respective zones.
This unique initiative of the Board has been widely appreciated by the pilgrims, especially the morning and evening live Atka Aarti from the Bhawan that is made available to the pilgrims through the Audio System while they are moving on the tracks. Further, the public address system has been effectively linked to the control rooms in such a way so that all important public announcements as well as instructions in regard to dealing with emergency situations are heard simultaneously across the tracks.