Seers, pilgrims find nothing to fear in J&K; claim feeling at home in border State

Sadhus in jubilant mood at Purani Mandi temple in Jammu. —Excelsior/Rakesh
Sadhus in jubilant mood at Purani Mandi temple in Jammu. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Sanjeev K. Sharma
JAMMU, July 10: Thirty years old Nasik lady discovered everything good in the border State of J&K and said that she will tell people at her home town that things here are not different than those in rest of the country.
Introducing herself as Bharti Dnyneshwar Londhe, the young housewife from Maharashtra said for the first time in her life, she has performed Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage.
At Yatra base camp in Bhagwati Nagar, Londhe said: “Now we are preparing for Mata Vaishno Devi Ji pilgrimage and I with my group also want to see more places here as we all are feeling at home and we found nothing to fear about here.”
Meanwhile, 17 years old student, Rohit Kundlik Zagade, from Maharashtra who also accomplished his pilgrimage in the same group of Londhe lauded proper facilities for pilgrims and said that food, accommodation etc remained completely free of cost during their entire journey which saved their money.
He expressed desire to revisit the State.
Another first time pilgrim of Shri Amarnath Ji, Janardan Prasad, 50, from Kushi Nagar (UP) also lauded arrangements for the pilgrims.
Amravati resident, 28 years old Shubam, a farmer, said, he along with his group are performing the pilgrimage for the first time and they all are set to leave for the holy cave shrine in wee hours tomorrow.
“Now, as we have time, authorities have organized Jammu Darshan tour for us under which we are leaving for a visit to Indo-Pak border,” he said and expressed desire to visit many more places after performing the pilgrimage.
His other group members also expressed similar views.
Anyhow, things were not favourable for the 35 years old driver from Gwalior. Gopal Rao Neemkar said that he was performing the pilgrimage all alone.
“Whenever I have to go to any place either I have to carry my entire luggage with me all the way or I have to stand in long queues at cloak rooms for depositing the luggage,” he said adding that somehow he has now managed to be a part of a group with alone people like him.
However, he hailed the arrangements made for the pilgrims.
The otherwise deserted base camp at Amarnath Yatra in Bhagwati Nagar is presently wearing an extraordinary hustle-bustle with pilgrims from different parts of the country gathered there in large number attired in different costumes, speaking different languages and dialects, having different looks and cultures thereby depicting Indian diversity.
In short, one may have a glimpse of a mini-India at the base camp.
However, the scene was very different at ancient Ram Mandir in the heart of old Jammu city in Purani Mandi area where one may visit after negotiating heavy public crowd through a narrow road to reach the grand main old entrance of the temple with cops standing near a barricade erected for security purpose.
Inside the temple, some seers were taking a nap under few fans in a lobby while others were having lunch at a community kitchen upstairs.
When contacted, the body language and gestures of the 60 years old seer taking rest there clearly had the meaning that there is nothing on the earth to fear when one has faith in Almighty God, what to say of terrorists in Kashmir.
Supporting a long grey beard, Baba Giri Sanyasi Moni from Auriya district of Uttar Pradesh was observing a Moan Vraat (a practise where one doesn’t speak and uses gestures or writes things to express ideas).
The seer was preparing for annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji for the seventh consecutive year on a bicycle.
He used gestures to say that Jammu and Kashmir is a unique place on earth with good and blessed people living here.
The saint also said that he will pray to Lord Shiva for the world peace.
Another saint-Mahant Hanuman Giri, 32, from Junagarh, Gujarat with ashes applied over his body informed that he had successfully paid obeisance at the shrine of Baba Amarath Ji by covering entire journey bare footed.
He further informed that right from his childhood he is a seer and commended the arrangements made by the authorities for the pilgrimage.
This saint said that Kashmir was not different from any other place in the country and there were men in uniform to ensure security for every pilgrim.
“Baba Barfani will bless you all and there will be more welfare and peace in future,” he said and moved away showering blessings by chanting Bum Bum Bhole etc.
Similar were the views of Mahant Sham Giri from UP, who found people in J&K very welcoming and cultured and expressed desire to visit more temples here.