Giving a perfect gift to his fans on the last day of Navratri, Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam performed soulful bhajans as part of a special aarti at the holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district.
The special programme, orgsed by Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), was held on Mahanavami, which marks the last day of the Navratri festival.
Sonu performed 'Mata ki Bhente' which mesmerised the pilgrims at the special programme.
The singer revealed that he is a regular visitor at Vaishno Devi since 1996.
"I had come here last year as well. I have been a regular visitor here since 1996. When we used to live in Delhi, we wanted to come here but we couldn't. In 1996, I came here for the first time and that year I visited this place twice. Then I kept coming here. Maybe once or twice I might have missed due to a medical condition in my cartilages as I couldn't climb that much. I have been very athletic, I love trekking so my knees were in pain at that time," Sonu told .
The singer also shared that he woke up early morning to practice for his performance and is very happy to be able to sing at the programme.
"I have gotten the chance to sing and I am very happy. I have come here with my family and friends. There are so many people who don't get the chance to come but I got the opportunity to only visit but perform as well," he said.
"I have performed earlier as well during morning aarti. I will do my best but I am not sure how will the performance go. I have been up since 4 am because for a singer to sing early morning, they know mornings are for riyaaz. I have been practicing since morning," the 46-year-old artist added.
The CEO of SMVDSB, Simrandeep Singh, also spoke about the special programme, noting that it is currently on an experimental basis and will continue if it gets a positive response from the visitors.
"This is on an experimental basis. The board thought that for celebrating the festival in a true sense, the experiment should be done doing Navratri," Simrandeep told .
"And if we get a positive response from the tourists, this will continue on Navratri. National and international fame singers have been requested to come and perform at the event," he added.
Simrandeep also noted that over 3 lakh pilgrims visited Vaishno Devi during Navratra to pay obeisance and it is expected to break the records of the past years.
Sufi singer-BJP MP from North West Delhi Hans Raj Hans, Gurdas Mann, Kavita Paudwal, Jaspinder Narula and Lakhwinder Wadali have already performed at the shrine.
This Navratri, the pilgrims also caught the first glimpse of the gold-plated gate outside the cave.
This year, Navratri was celebrated in the country from September 29 to October 7. Navratri in Sanskrit means nine nights in which nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped in a particular order.
Also known as Sharad Navratri, the tenth day of the festival is celebrated as Dussehra or Vijayadashami.
The occasion is believed to mark Goddess Durga's victory over demon Mahishasura, which signifies the victory of good over evil.
( With inputs from ANI )