7000 pay obeisance at holy cave on day 25

Yatris on way to holy cave via Chandanwari track on Thursday. — Excelsior/Sajjad Dar
Yatris on way to holy cave via Chandanwari track on Thursday. — Excelsior/Sajjad Dar

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, July 25: Seven thousand pilgrims paid obeisance at holy cave of Shri Amarnath Ji on the 25th day of darshan today taking the total number of pilgrims performing obeisance at holy cave during the ongoing yatra which started on July1 to 3,08,839.
Officials said that 7,021 pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country paid obeisance to naturally formed Ice Lingam in the holy cave of Lord Shiva situated at the height of 3880 meters from sea level in the Lidder Valley in South Kashmir’s district Anantnag today.
They said that till date 3,08,839 pilgrims paid obeisance of Ice Lingam in cave shrine among them majority of pilgrims had returned to their home states and others were on the way.
Officials said that the pilgrims who performed the darshan in cave shrine today started their return journey towards the twin base camps of Nunwan -Pahalgam in South Kashmir district of Anantnag and Baltal-Sonamarg Central Kashmiri’s Ganderbal district.
The weather in the holy cave area remained cloudy but dry for the entire day and the yatra proceeded normally from both the tracks during the day, officials said.
A fresh batch of 2,416 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here for the twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal-Sonamarg in a cavalcade of 99 vehicles early this morning under tight security arrangements, officials said.
All these pilgrims had reached to their respective base camps by this evening where from they will leave for their onwards sojourn early next morning.
The authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the pilgrims right from Lakhanpur Gate Way to holy cave besides a multi tier security has been put in place to ensure safe pilgrimage this year.
Reports reaching here said that 900 pilgrims from different parts of country crossed the Gate Way of Lakhanpur towards Jammu in 85 vehicles during last 24 hours while hundreds of pilgrims also reached here via trains during the same period.
The 46 day -long yatra which started on July 1 will culminate on Sawan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandan festival falling on August 15 when the holy mace of Lord Shiva carried by its sole custodian Mahant Deependra Giri Ji and accompanied by Sadhus and other devotees will reach cave shrine from its abode Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar.
The holy mace after performing traditional puja at cave shrine for the entire day will start its return journey towards Panchtarni in the evening on the same day.
The holy mace will leave Srinagar on Nag Panchmi falling on August 5 after performing pooja at ancient Durga Nag temple outskirts of the city. Earlier to this the holy mace will be taken to ancient Shankaracharya temple and Hari Parbhat temples of Goddess Durga where Puja will be performed in a traditional way by Mahant Ji and Sadhus.
On its way to holy cave Chhari Mubarak will stay at Pahalgam for two nights, one night each at Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarni respectively before reaching holy cave in the early morning of Sawan Purnima an auspicious day of Lord Shiva.