Chhari Pujan held at Dashnami Akhara

Yatra resumes, 2821 perform darshan
Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, Aug 2: Maintaining the age old tradition, the Chhari Pujan was performed at Amreshwar temple in Dashnami Akhara building Srinagar on the occasion of Naag Panchmi today by Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha, who is also the chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), Mahant Deependra Giri Ji Maharaj, the sole custodian of holy mace of Shri Amarnath Ji and Sadhus.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor prayed for sustained peace, progress and prosperity in J&K and well being of the people.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the function, Sinha said that performing of Chhari Pujan on the occasion of Nag Panchmi is one of the important rituals prior to culmination of annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji.
He said the holy Amarnath yatra will culminate with the taking of silver mace of Lord Shiva to cave shrine by Mahant Ji on August 11. He said over three lakh pilgrims have so far visited the holy cave and performed darshan of Ice Lingam there.
However, the Ice Lingam is not in the same form now due to heat. He also advised the yatris intending to perform the pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji this year to visit holy cave before August 5 as the weather may turn hostile again after that so far as forecasts have been made by the weather observatory.
Speaking on the occasion, Mahant Deependra Giri Ji Maharaj said that earlier the Chhari used to leave from Dashnami Akhara to holy cave by foot on the day of Naag Panchmi. It stayed for the first day at Pampore, next day at Bijbehara, third day at Anantnag, fourth day at Martand, fifth day at Ashmuqam, sixth and seventh day at Pahalgam, eighth day at Chandanwari, ninth day at Sheshnag, 10th day at Panchtarni and on 11th day i.e Puranmashi the darshan was performed at holy cave of Lord Shiva where on insistence of Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva narrated the Amar Katha to her which relieves the human beings of the bondage of life and death.
He said the Puja being performed at Dashnami Akhara on Naag Panchmi has a great significance and this year Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha visited the Dashnami Akhara to perform the Chhari Pujan.
He said with LG’s participation in Puja today the devotees will not only get enthused but also inspired to visit for darshan of Shri Amarnath Ji in coming years too.
Meanwhile, the yatra to holy cave which remained suspended yesterday due to inclement weather and heavy downpour from both Baltal and Chandanwari tracks was resumed today. On 34th day of yatra 2821 pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country performed darshan of naturally formed ice Lingam in cave shrine situated at an altitude of 3880 metres above the sea level in deep Himalayas in South Kashmir district of Anantnag by this evening.
With this a total number of 2,84,072 pilgrims have performed darshan at holy cave since the 43 day long yatra started on June 30 this year. Till yesterday evening 2,81,251 pilgrims had performed darshan at holy cave.
The holy mace will leave for the cave shrine from Dashnami Akhara on August 7 and after paying obeisance at Hindu temples and shrines enroute it will have two days stay on August 7 and 8 at Pahalgam and on August 9 it will leave for onwards sojourn.
Meanwhile, a fresh batch of 570 pilgrims left for twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district and Baltal in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district under tight security measures early this morning in a cavalcade of 21 vehicles.
Among them, 224 pilgrims preferred the traditional and longest 48 kilometer Nunwan-Panchtarni track while 346 pilgrims opted for the shortest 14 kilometer Baltal Domail route. These pilgrims will leave for darshan of holy cave from their respective base camps early tomorrow morning.

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