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Amarnath Yatra concludes as Charri Mubarak reaches cave shrine

August 21
03:20 2013

AMARSRINAGAR: The annual Amarnath pilgrimage concluded today on Shravan Purnima amid chanting of religious hymns as ‘Charri Mubarak’, the holy mace of Lord Shiva, reached the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.

“The annual Amarnath pilgrimage concluded today. Mahant Deependra Giri, the custodian of the Charri Mubarak, was among those who performed the pooja marking the culmination of the 55-day yatra,” officials said.

Governor N N Vohra, who is also chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, could not attend the pooja at the cave shrine due to inclement weather in the area.

The celebrations for Shravan Purnima, which coincides with Raksha Bandhan, were filled with religious fervor at the arrival of the holy mace of Lord Shiva in the cave shrine, situated at a height of 3,880 meters, after a night halt at Panjtarni, the third and final halt en route the shrine.

Over 3.5 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance at the cave shrine housing the naturally formed ice-lingam during the pilgrimage which began on June 28.

This is the lowest number of pilgrims visiting the cave shrine in almost a decade following strict implementation by Jammu and Kashmir government of the Supreme Court directions in this regard.

Access control gates were set up by the authorities at various places en route both traditional Pahalgam and shorter Baltal tracks and no unregistered pilgrim was allowed to proceed towards the cave shrine.

Pilgrims below the age of 13 and over 75 were not allowed and medical fitness certificate was made mandatory for all.

14 pilgrims died during this year’s yatra, which is the lowest in the past decade. -PTI

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