Yatra suspended due to inclement weather, 271 perform darshan

Chhari Mubarak being taken to Shankaracharya temple in Srinagar by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji Maharaj and Sadhus on Thursday. - Excelsior/Shakeel
Chhari Mubarak being taken to Shankaracharya temple in Srinagar by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji Maharaj and Sadhus on Thursday. - Excelsior/Shakeel

Holy Mace taken to Shankaracharya temple

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, July 28: While Shri Amarnath Ji yatra has been temporarily suspended from both Pahalgam and Baltal routes due to inclement weather today, Chhari Mubarak, the silver mace of Lord Shiva was taken to historical Shankaracharya temple from its abode Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar by its sole custodian Mahant Deependra Giri Ji Maharaj and Sadhus for traditional Puja.

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Officials said no yatri was allowed to proceed from traditional Nunwan in Pahalgam base camp in South Kashmir today due to inclement weather and slippery tracks. The pilgrims bound to Amarnath cave shrine to pay obeisance were also not allowed to proceed from the halting points of Chandanwari and Panchtarni. It was still raining at several places on the route and on Wednesday there had been heavy showers on the track, they said. Keeping in view the weather conditions the authorities decided to suspend the yatra until the weather improves, the official added.
Similarly, no pilgrim was allowed to proceed from the shorter Baltal route via Dumail to cave shrine of Amarnath to pay obeisance there today. However, 271 pilgrims, who were having a night halt near holy cave, performed darshan today taking the total number of pilgrims visiting the cave shrine since the 43 day long yatra started on June 30 to 2,72051. Till yesterday evening 271,780 pilgrims had performed the darshan at holy cave.
Officials said it was still raining on the track from Baltal to Amarnath cave shrine. Kashmir weather, an independent weather observatory, forecast rain showers can occur along both routes of Amarnath holy cave (via Pahalgam and Sonamarg). There is a possibility of heavy showers, especially between today late afternoon and night.
Officials said the yatra from Nunwan onwards and other camps to holy cave also remained suspended due to heavy rainfall today.
Meanwhile, yatra from Jammu was also not allowed to move ahead from Chanderkot Ramban due to closure of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway due to landslides and shooting stones.
All the 1602 pilgrims who left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here early morning under tight security arrangements for the twin base camps of Baltal in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir and Nunwan -Pahalgam in South Kashmir district of Anantnag were taken to Chanderkot Yatri Niwas in Ramban district for night haltage. These pilgrims will be allowed to move ahead tomorrow in case the weather improves and NH opens for vehicular traffic, officials said.
Officials said 3656 pilgrims were camping at Baltal base camp overnight while 834 were camping at Nunwan-Pahalgam base camp.
Meanwhile, Chhari-Mubarak of Shri Amarnath Ji led by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji was taken to historic Shankaracharya temple, Srinagar located at Gopadri Hills today for prayers on the occasion of ‘Haryali-Amavasya’ (Shravan Amavasya) as per the age-old customs.
The sound of conch shell charged the whole atmosphere. Pujan was performed with chanting of Vedic hymns. Sadhus who accompanied holy Mace, participated in the prayers that lasted for more than two hours. Collective prayers were also offered for peace and prosperity of Jammu & Kashmir and the country as a whole.
The summit of the hill is crowned with a picturesque edifice. This hill was called Jetha Larak and afterwards it was named Gopadari Hill. Some historians are of the opinion that the temple at the top was originally built by King Sandiman (2629-2564 BC), said Mahant Deependra Giri Ji Maharaj while talking to reporters.
This temple was, earlier, known as Jyeshteshwara or Jyoteshwara temple. But after Adi Shankaracharya Ji visited this temple, it is, now, popularly known as Shri Shankaracharya temple, he added.
Chhari-Mubarak will be taken to ‘Sharika-Bhawani’ Temple, Hari Parvat, Srinagar to pay obeisance to the Goddess tomorrow, he said.
He said the annual pilgrimage will Shri Amarnath Ji will culminate on Sawan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival on August 12 when holy Mace will reach the cave shrine.