Chhari Mubarak reaches Panjtarni

Yatra resumes, last batch to leave today

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Aug 24: After remaining suspended for three consecutive days, the Swami Amarnath Ji yatra resumed from Jammu today with 137 pilgrims leaving for twin base camps of Baltal in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir and Nunwan-Pahalgam in South Kashmir district of Anantnag under tight security measures early this morning.
According to an official spokesman, 137 pilgrims drawn from different parts of country left for twin base camps of Baltal and Nunwan early this morning under tight security measures. These yatris will leave for holy cave from their respective base camps early tomorrow morning, he added.
He said as the two month long Swami Amarnath Ji yatra which started on June 28 will culminate on Shravan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival on August 26 after Chhari Mubarak reaches the holy cave. The last batch of pilgrims from here will leave for cave shrine early tomorrow morning.
The spokesman said on the 58th day of darshan today 254 pilgrims paid obeisance to Lord Shiva in cave shrine situated at an altitude of 3880 metres in deep Himalayas in district Anantnag. Till date 2,48,332 pilgrims have performed the darshan in holy cave during last two months.
He said the rush has now decreased and that was the reason that yatra remained suspended from Jammu for three days. The spokesman said the weather during the day was pleasant on the yatra routes and yatra on both the tracks proceeded smoothly.
He said 150 pilgrims left from Nunwan -Pahalgam base camp to holy cave via Chandanwari track and they were mostly Sadhus. Besides, the pilgrims staying for night halt at Sheshnag and Panjtarni also left for their onwards sojourn early this morning.
He said about 100 pilgrims left from Nunwan base camp to cave shrine this morning while over 200 pilgrims returned from cave shrine to Baltal base camp after performing darshan.
Meanwhile, Chhari Mubarak of Lord Shiva led by Mahant Deependra Giri of Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar the sole custodian of holy mace reached Panjtarni from Sheshnag today. The holy mace will stay at Panjtarni for two nights and leave for cave shrine in the wee hours on August 26 to reach their early morning. After performing puja in the cave shrine, the holy mace will start its return journey to Panjtarni in the evening. Having a night halt at Panjtarni it will return to Pahalgam next day, he added.
At Pahalgam, the Sadhus will be served Kari Pakoda as Prashad on the bank of river Lidder as per the old tradition after immersion ceremony and performance of other rituals next day. Later the Chhari Mubarak will leave for its abode at Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar marking the culmination of two month -long Swami Amarnath Ji yatra.
The spokesman said as no down convoy was allowed from Pahalgam and Baltal during last three days after suspension of yatra from Jammu, the stranded pilgrims at twin base camps were also allowed to leave for Srinagar and Jammu this morning.
The spokesman said that there was tremendous rush of pilgrims during first month of yatra and up to Vyas Purnima last month, 2.50 lakh pilgrims had performed darshan in the cave shrine but this rush decreased considerably in the next month.
He said while thousands of pilgrims performed darshan at cave shrine daily during first month of yatra, it decreased to few hundreds in next month owing to various reasons, like incessant Monsoon rains and floods that lashed many parts of the country.