Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), July 21 : With a growing number of people going on pilgrimage to Shrikhand Mahadev shrine in Himachal Pradesh during mid-July, people of the area are concerned about the preservation of natural environs here.
Many environmentalists and holy men here opine that such a surge in the number of pilgrims here has started affecting the beauty of the place.
Most of these pilgrims who take up the 70-km Yatra, usually forget that they also need to prevent themselves and fellows from polluting the trek.
Pilgrims' carry polythene bags and discard food leftovers which affect the place.
Environmentalists and the holy men now want people to be conscious of preserving the cleanliness of the environment.
"I am going for this pilgrimage for the fifth time ... Numbers of pilgrims are increasing every year. It becomes our duty to protect it. Pollution is also reaching there with the increasing number. The route should remain clean," said Sadhu Mahant Raj.
Hundreds of devotees undertake the pilgrimage to Shri Khand Mahadev shrine in Himachal Pradesh and leave for Shri Khand Kailash Mountain range in batches during the second week of July.
Devotees set forth on foot from Nirmand town in Kullu district, around 140 kliometres from Shimla, to offer prayers at the shrine of Shivpindi on the Himalayan peak, which is 18,500 feet above sea-level.
It is a 70-km two-way track passing through dense forests, water streams, sprawling meadows and lofty mountains. The climb is difficult but it offers a panoramic view.
This pilgrimage is described to be as significant as the famous Amarnath Yatra. It is usually undertaken to coincide with the Ashada Poornima or, full moon day of June to July) as per the Hindus' Vikrami calendar.
It continues till the Poornima of Ashwani month (full moon day of September to October). By Hemant Chauhan