Chhari Sthapana at Amareshwar Temple, Kashmir
Over 6.25 lakh pilgrims pay obeisance at Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji
Srinagar (Kashmir), Aug 2 - "Chhari-Sthapana" ceremony was performed at Shri Amareshwar Temple in Srinagar, Kashmir, where the holy Mace of Lord Shiva will be kept for darshan of devotees till August 8. Traditional 'Chhari-Pujan' shall be performed on August 4, on the occasion of 'Nag-Panchami' at Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar.
The Chhari-Mubarak, one depicting Lord Shiva and another Goddess Parvati shall be kept in the temple for 'Darshan' till commencement of main course of pilgrimage on August 8.
A large number of devotees, including sadhus, joined Mahant Deepender Giri, custodian of the holy Mace, to perform Chhari Sthapana in the temple today. The "Chhari-Mubarak" was taken to the historic Shankaracharya temple on the bank of Dal Lake on the occasion of "Haryalic-Amavasya" as per age old customs last week.
The 46-day-long annual pilgrimage to Holy Cave shrine of Shri Amarnathji in south Kashmir Himalayas will conclude on August 13 when the holy Mace will be taken inside the cave shrine on Raksha Bandhan.
In the meanwhile a record number of over 6.25 lakh devotees paid obeisance at the Holy Cave shrine of Shri Amarnathji in South Kashmir district of Anantnag in last 35 days since the Shri Amarnath Yatra-2011 commenced on June 29.
According to official sources the Shri Amarnath Yatra is progressing smoothly though there has been a considerable decline in the number of pilgrims visiting the holy cave for over a week now. Over 5000 pilgrims paid obeisance in Holy Cave till late tonight from both Baltal and Nunwan-Chandanwari tracks. However there is no such huge rush of pilgrims on tracks which was witnessed earlier last month.
Out of 6.25 lakh pilgrims 6.10 lakh have returned to their home states while rest were on their way to Pahalgam and Baltal base camps. The weather remained cloudy during the day and it rained in the Shri Amarnath Yatra area for some time in the morning.
Over 4000 pilgrims also left for darshan of Ice Shivlingam from shortest Baltal and traditional Nunwan-Chandanwari tracks. Besides hundreds of pilgrims who had a night halt at Sheshnag and Panjtarni haltage stations also left for their next sojourn today. The pilgrims who left from Panjtarni and Baltal early this morning had performed darshan in the Holy Cave by late tonight while others were on their way.
The 34th batch of 426 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas for holy cave under tight security arrangements this morning. Comprising 270 males, 55 females, 4 children and 97 Sadhus, these pilgrims left in a cavalcade of 14 vehicles at 0500 hours today. All these pilgrims had reached the base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal till last reports came in where from they will leave for holy cave early tomorrow morning.