Amarnath shrine had 400,000 pilgrims this yearAugust 4th, 2009 - 10:26 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, Aug 4 (IANS) Over 400,000 pilgrims from all over the country visited the Himalyan Amarnath shrine this year during the two-month long pilgrimage which comes to a close Wednesday.
The Charri Mubarak - Hindu lord Shiva’s mace - reached Panchtarni Tuesday on the penultimate day of its journey to the cave shrine situated at an altitude of over 13,500 feet.
The mace is expected to reach the shrine Wednesday morning where the final prayers would be performed coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan and Shravan Purnima festivals.
“I am very happy the yatra (pilgrimage) this year has proceeded peacefully and without any interference,” said Swami Dipendra Giri, the custodian of the mace, who is accompanying ascetics and other devotees to the shrine.
Officials said over 400,000 pilgrims visited the Amarnath shrine that houses the iced stalagmite believed to be an icon of Shiva’s mythical powers.
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Tags: altitude, amarnath shrine, custodian, devotees, festivals, final prayers, himalyan, hindu, interference, journey, lord shiva, mace, mubarak, mythical powers, pilgrimage, pilgrims, raksha bandhan, stalagmite, swami, wednesday morning