Kashmir: Amarnath Yatra Concludes On Raksha Bandhan

Story By: Rajesh Sharma
Monday, August, 07 2017 - 14:30

The 40-day annual Amarnath Yatra (pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine) in south Kashmir Himalayas concluded on the festival of Raksha Bandhan, which is observed today.  

As per reports, more than 2.60 lakh (260 000) pilgrims offered prayers this year. 

The yatra had commenced from Pahalgam and Baltal routes on 29 June.

The holy mace of Lord Shiva -- Chhari Mubarak -- carried by a group of 'sadhus' and devotees led by its custodian Mahant Deepindra Giri, arrived at the holy cave in the early hours for day-long prayers. They trekked 42 kilometers from Pahalgam to reach the shrine with night halts at Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarani.

Immersion ceremonies for the journey of Chhari Mubarak would be performed on the banks of Lidder River in Pahalgam on August 9.

Hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees make an annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave on challenging mountainous terrain to see the almighty linga, which is an ice stalagmite formed inside the cave.

Amarnath is situated at an altitude of 3,888 m (12,756 ft), about 141 km  from Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir and reached through Pahalgam town. The shrine forms an important part of Hinduism and is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism.

The cave is surrounded by snowy mountains and is covered with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims. 

The yatra did not pass without a tragic incident this year too. Eight pilgrims were killed in terror attack on July 10, when the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants targeted a bus near the village of Botengoo, Anantnag district of Kashmir.


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