Shri Amarnath yatra inches close to 3 lakh as LG monitors it personally

Holy mace to be taken to Shankaracharya temple today

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, July 27: Annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji shrine today crossed 2.7 lakh and is likely to cross 3 lakh by the end of this week as Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who happens to be the Chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), is personally monitoring the pilgrimage.
Sinha has been taking feedback two to three times daily from top officials of the SASB, civil and police administration engaged in making arrangements for annual pilgrimage, on progress of the yatra and arrangements made for the pilgrims.
“The yatra is progressing smoothly from all base camps of Yatri Niwas Bhagwati Nagar, Nunwan in Pahalgam and Baltal. Today alone, more than 8000 pilgrims performed darshan,” the officials said.
The Lieutenant Governor has been regularly interacting with the officials for ensuring that the pilgrims don’t face any problems on the tracks as well as base camps.
The pilgrims returning from holy cave of Shri Amarnath Ji are all praise for arrangements made by Shri Amarnath Shrine Board.
It may be mentioned here that this was after two years that Shri Amarnath Ji yatra is taking place. The pilgrimage was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID pandemic while it was cut short by about 15 days in 2019 due to August 5 decisions of the Central Government.

Yatris on way to darshan near holy cave on Wednesday -Excelsior/Shakeel
Yatris on way to darshan near holy cave on Wednesday

Meanwhile, over 8000 pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country today paid obeisance at holy cave of Baba Amarnath Ji situated at an altitude of 3880 metres above sea level in snow bound Himalayas in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district while two pilgrims admitted in Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura and Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) Srinagar for various ailments passed away last night and today respectively.
According to officials, 8821 pilgrims performed darshan of naturally formed Ice Lingam by this evening at the holy cave from twin tracks of Baltal and Chandanwari. With this, total number of pilgrims who performed darshan in the cave shrine since the annual yatra of Baba Amarnath commenced on June 30 this year has touched 2,71, 780. It may be recalled that 2,62,959 pilgrims had performed darshan at holy cave till last night.
Officials said the weather was cloudy during the day in the yatra area and it rained for some time during the day disrupting movement of pilgrimage for short duration but later the yatra proceeded smoothly and no untoward was reported from anywhere.
Officials said that two pilgrims who were admitted one in SKIMS, Soura and another in SMHS, Sriangar few days back died last night and today respectively. They were identified as Bhagwan Meghwal, son of Bhuwan Meghwal of Rajasthan and Mira Bhaidas More , wife of Bhaidas More of Dargah Ektah Nagar, Dhule, Maharashtra. With this, total number of yatris who died in ongoing pilgrimage has touched 44 barring 15 pilgrims who died due to flash floods which hit the Lower Cave area on July 8.
Meanwhile, the Chhari Mubarak, the silver mace of Lord Shiva will be taken to historical and ancient Shankaracharya temple in Srinagar from its abode Dashnami Akhara for pooja by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji, the custodian of holy mace and Sadhus. Later, it will be brought back to its abode Dashnami Akhara in the evening.
The holy mace will be taken to ancient Sharika Bhawani temple Hari Parbat, Srinagar on July 29 by Mahant Ji and Sadhus for pooja and performance of other rituals. Later in the evening it will be brought to the Dashnami Akhara.
The Chhari Sathapana will be held at Dashnami Akhara on July 31 and Chhari Pujan on Nag Panchmi falling on August 2. Later, the holy mace will leave for cave shrine.
Meanwhile, a fresh batch of 1147 pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here for holy cave early this morning under tight security measures in a cavalcade of 42 vehicles. Among them, 671 pilgrims preferred the traditional 48 kilometre long Nunwan Chandanwari track in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district while 476 pilgrims opted for shortest 14 kilometre Baltal track in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir.
This is the lowest number of pilgrims who left for holy cave from here since the first batch of yatris was flagged off on June 29 by Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha who is also chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).
These pilgrims will leave for their onward sojourn from their respective base camps early tomorrow morning.
Officials said 1328 pilgrims were staying at Nunwan Base Camp during last night and 1078 pilgrims left from there to holy cave this morning. They said 2241 pilgrims had night stay at Sheshnag Camp while 2147 pilgrims left from Sheshnag to holy cave today.
Officials said 4431 pilgrims were staying at Baltal and 1767 left from there for holy cave early this morning while 5731 pilgrims were staying at Panchtarni and 4837 from there left for holy cave.
The 43-day long yatra will culminate on Shravan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival falling on August 11 when holy mace of Lord Shiva from Dashnami Akhara Srinagar will reach the cave shrine.