‘Bhoomi, Chhari Pujan’ performed at Pahalgam

Mahant Deependra Giri Ji and other Sadhus performing Chhari Pujan at Pahalgam on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Sajjad Dar
Mahant Deependra Giri Ji and other Sadhus performing Chhari Pujan at Pahalgam on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Sajjad Dar

Yatra crosses 2 lakh in 16 days
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, July 16: The holy Amarnath yatra crossed two lakh on 16th day of darshan today, while the rituals of Chhari Mubarak including ‘Bhoomi-Pujan’, ‘Navgrah-Pujan’, ‘Chhari-Pujan’ and ‘Dhawajarohan’ ceremonies were performed amid chanting of Vedic hymns at Pahalgam on the occasion of ‘Ashad-Purnima’ that marks the commencement of annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji, traditionally.
According to officials on the 16th day of darshan at holy cave, 11,583 pilgrims drawn from different parts of country paid obeisance to naturally formed ice lingam in holy cave situated at an height of 3880 meters in Lidder Valley of South Kashmir district of Anantnag. Till date, 2,05,083 pilgrims have performed the darshan at holy cave since the 46 day-long yatra started on July 1.
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According to Mahant Deependra Giri Ji, the sole custodian of holy mace of Lord Shiva Bhoomi Pujan, Navgrah Pujan, Chhari Pujan and Dhawajarohan held at Pahalgam today are important rituals prior to main course of annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji. The sound of conch shells reverberated the whole atmosphere during the performance of religious ceremonies at Pahalgam. Sizable number of Sadhus, pilgrims and numerous Kashmiri Pandit families from Martand were present on the occasion. Amit Sharma, Director Nunwan Base Camp and Ashok Siddha, president, Martand Purohit Sabha also participated in the Pujan. Hawan was also performed after Pujan. Langar was served to all present and they were also offered ‘Dakshina’.
Speaking on the occasion Mahant Deependra Giri Ji, said, “people of Jammu & Kashmir irrespective of their caste, creed and religion have been cooperating, assisting and encouraging the pilgrims and Sadhus who come here from across the country and even abroad for this annual pilgrimage”.
Prayers were also offered at historic Martand Temple, Mattan (Anantnag). When asked by a journalist to comment on the hardships faced by the locals in wake of traffic restrictions imposed by the Government during the pilgrimage, Mahant Ji said that it is good to take the precautionary measures but at the same time he suggested to devise a mechanism by which inconvenience caused to local population is minimized.
Mahant Deependra Giri Ji expressed his satisfaction after performing these important rituals at Pahalgam and thanked the State administration for making arrangements for the event.
The event was organized by ‘The True Trust’ founded by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji in year 2004.
Meanwhile, weather in the holy cave area remained cloudy for the entire day today and it also drizzled in the cave area for some time. However, the yatra proceeded smoothly from both the tracks.
The 15th batch of 3,976 pilgrims drawn from different parts of country left for twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Balatal-Sonamarg in a cavalcade of 157 vehicles under tight security arrangements early this morning from Bhagwati Nagar Base Camp, officials said.
These yatris have reached to their respective base camps in Kashmir valley by this evening where from they will leave for their next sojourn early tomorrow morning.
The unabated rush of pilgrims also continued here as thousands of Shri Amarnath ji bound yatris are daily reporting from different parts of country.
As per reports 2,456 pilgrims crossed Lakhanpur, the gateway of J&K towards Jammu in 163 vehicles in last 24 years while an equal number have reached Jammu in the same period through Railways.
The pilgrims including large number of Sadhus are also seen here waiting in long queues in front of different registration counters daily.
The holy yatra will culminate on Hindu festival of Shravan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan falling on August 15 when the holy mace from its abode Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar reaches the cave shrine.
The holy mace will start its journey towards the cave shrine on Nag Panchmi falling on August 5.