August 13, 2016 5:39:27 pm
Amid curfew, the holy mace of Lord Shiva, ‘Chhari Mubarak’, on Saturday joined the annual Amarnath yatra, marking the concluding phase of the 48-day pilgrimage to 3,880 metre cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.
Amid chanting of Vedic hymns, a group of sadhus and devotees led by its custodian, Mahant Deepindra Giri, left with the saffron robed-mace from its abode at Amareshwar Temple Dashnami Akhara near Lal Chowk this morning for Pahalgam base camp along the traditional 42-km route to the holy cave, officials said.
On way to Pahalgam, they said it was taken to various temples, including historic Martand Temple at Mattan, and prayers were offered.
The officials said special prayers were also offered at Sureshwar Temple in Srinagar, Shiv Temple at Pampore in Pulwama, Shiv Temple at Bijbehara, Ganesh Temple across river Lidder, Ganeshbal and Gouri Shankar temple in Anantnag district.
The Chhari Mubarak will reach the cave on August 18 on the occasion of ‘Raksha Bandhan’ which officially marks the culmination of the annual yatra.
The yatra began on July 2 fom the twin routes of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and the shorter 12-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district. So far over 2.19 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave shrine.
Early this month, the Chhari Mubarak was taken to various temples, including Shankaracharya and Sharika Bhawani in the city, and special prayers were offered in accordance with the tradition.
‘Chhari-Sthapana’ and ‘Dhwajarohan’ ceremonies were also performed at Dashnami Akhara on August 5 followed by traditional Chhari-Pujan on August 7.
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