Allahabad, June 18 : About 500 devotees from Allahabad with their tonsured heads painted with different names of Lord Shiva have embarked on the annual pilgrimage to holy Amarnath cave in Jammu and Kashmir.
They have painted their heads with different names of Lord Shiva like Har Har Mahadev' and Baba'.
"We are devotees of Lord Shiva. We have been serving Lord Shiva for the last four years. We have got different names of Lord Shiva written on our heads like Om Namah Shivay, Shivling, Jai Bhole, Baba, Trishul, Jai Baba Barfani, Har Har Mahadev," said Pankaj, a pilgrim.
Dressed in saffron, they danced enthusiastically to the beats of drums as they prepared to set off for the arduous journey.
"We will go to Amarnath to pay obeisance to Lord Amarnath. It is our devotion because of which we have got Shivling', Om' written on our heads," said Sanjay, a pilgrim.
Over 200,000 pilgrims have been registered so far for the annual pilgrimage, for which the maximum quota of the year has been fixed at 280,000.
The pilgrimage leads devotees through monsoon rain-swollen streams and past a glacier-fed lake to the cave where they worship an ice stalagmite, representing the regenerative powers of lord Shiva.