JAMMU, Aug 12: Maintaining the age old traditions, the saffron robed holy mace -Chhari Mubarak of Swami Amarnath Ji was taken to ancient ‘Sharika-Bhawani’ Temple, Hari Parvat, in Srinagar city today to pay obeisance to the Goddess on the occasion of ‘Shravan Shukla Paksha Pratipada’.
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The holy mace was led by its sole custodian and head of True Trust, Mahant Deependra Giri and taken to Goddess ‘Sharika-Bhawani’ temple popularly known as ‘Tripursundari’. The Sharika Bhawani is the ‘Isht Devi’ (presiding deity) of the Srinagar city who manifested herself in a figure of ‘Shila’ (holy rock) at Hari Parvat.
The Mahant was accompanied by a group of Sadhus and devotees. They participated in the pujan, and prayed for everlasting peace for the trouble -torn State of Jammu & Kashmir.
Rituals connected with Chhari-Sthapana will be performed tomorrow at Shri Amareshwar Temple Akhara Building, Budshah Chowk Srinagar. After performing the rituals, the holy mace will be kept in Shri Amareshwar Temple for ‘Darshan’ till it leaves for main course of pilgrimage on August 20.
Traditional ‘Chhari-Pujan’ will be performed on the occasion of ‘Nag-Panchami’ that falls on August 15 at Shri Amareshwar Temple, Akhara Building, Budshah Chowk, Srinagar.
Chhari-Mubarak will leave on August 20 from Dashnami Akhara Srinagar for main course of pilgrimage and reach holy shrine of Swami Amarnath Ji situated at an altitude of 13,500 feet in South Kashmir district of Anantnag on the auspicious day of ‘Shravan-Purnima’ that falls on August 26.
The Chhari Mubark will start its return journey to Pahalgam in the evening on the same day and will have a night halt at Panchtarni. Next day it will leave for Pahalgam where after performing the immersion ceremonies and other rituals at the bank of river Lidder as per tradition, the holy mace will leave for Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar culminating the two -month long annual Swami Amarnath Ji yatra.
Meanwhile, on the 46th day of darshan today, 806 pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country paid obeisance to naturally formed Ice Lingam in the holy cave of Swami Amarnath Ji.
According to an officer on yatra duty, 806 pilgrims paid obeisance in the cave shrine today and so far 2,78,878 pilgrims have performed darshan since the two month long yatra started on June 28.
He said 79 pilgrims left from Nunwan -Pahalgam to holy cave via traditional Chandanwari -Sheshnag track early this morning. Besides, the pilgrims having night halt at Sheshnag and Panchtarni transit camps also left for their onwards sojourn, he added.
He said 313 pilgrims left from shortest Baltal track early this morning for holy cave while 126 left by chopper during the day for darshan from Baltal area.
He said the weather remained cloudy in yatra area and it was also drizzling during the day but the yatra tracked smoothly from both the routes.
Another batch of 233 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas today for twin tracks of Baltal in Central Kashmir district of Ganderbal and Nunwan-Pahalgam in South Kashmir district of Anantnag for their onward journey to holy cave tomorrow from there.
The pilgrims left in 11 vehicles amid tight security arrangements in the early hours, Yatra Nodal Officer, Arun Manhas said.
He said, while two vehicles carrying 93 pilgrims are performing the yatra from the traditional 36-km Pahalgam route, 140 more pilgrims comprising 106 men and 34 women have opted the shorter 12-km Baltal route.
He said 172 yatris including 52 Sadhus were registered at registration counters of Jammu today. Out of them, 113 pilgrims opted for shorter Baltal track while 59 took traditional Pahalgam- Chandanwari track. All these pilgrims will leave for their respective tracks early tomorrow morning, he added.