Last leg of Amarnath yatra - chhari mubarak leaves Srinagar

August 8th, 2011 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Amarnath Shrine Srinagar, Aug 8 (IANS) Symbolising the last leg of the Amarnath pilgrimage, Lord Shiva’s mace, traditionally known as ‘chhari mubarak’, was Monday taken from a temple in this Jammu and Kashmir capital for its six-day journey to the Amarnath cave shrine.

Amid the chanting of Vedic hymns, a group of sadhus led by Swami Dipinder Giri, the custodian of the mace, took the ‘chhari mubarak’ from the temple inside the Akhara Building complex in Srinagar city after prayers. It was taken to Pahalgam on way to the Amarnath shrine, situated at 14,500 ft in the Kashmir Himalayas, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The month-and-half-long annual pilgrimage will come to a close with the arrival of the mace at Amarnath on Aug 13, Shravan Purnima.

Governor N.N. Vohra, who is also the chairman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), will perform prayers inside the shrine on the day to mark the end of the pilgrimage.

“Over 6.25 lakh pilgrims have this year performed the annual Amarnath Yatra, which has been peaceful and smooth. Around 95 pilgrims died, all of them due to natural causes like cardiac arrest and old age,” R.K. Goyal, chief executive officer (CEO) of SASB, told IANS here.

The state government has to make extensive security arrangements, involving thousands of police, paramilitary and army personnel, along both the south Kashmir and the north Kashmir routes to the cave shrine, which houses a stalagmite seen as an icon of Lord Shiva.

While the south Kashmir trek is spread over 43 km, the trek from north Kashmir’s Baltal camp is 14 km.

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