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Amarnath pilgrimage enters final phase

By Staff
Google Oneindia News

Srinagar, Aug 13: Pilgrimage to Amarnath shrine in Kashmir entered the final phase on Sunday, with the ritualistic procession of seers carrying the holy mace of Lord Shiva from Shankaracharya temple here to the cave shrine.

The "Chhari Mubarak" or the holy mace is carried every year to Amarnath cave shrine after rituals at the ancient Shankaracharya temple in Srinagar.

This marks the culmination of the month-long pilgrimage.

Mahant Deependra Giri, the traditional custodian of the holy mace, offered special prayers at Shankaracharya temple, before the start of procession.

The priests performed the rituals amidst chanting of Vedic hymns and blowing of conch shells.

"There should be peace and the situation should be as before 1989. The State and the country should walk on the path of development," said Giri.

The holy mace would be brought back after the main rituals at Amarnath shrine on August 22.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims trek through treacherous mountains in Kashmir, along icy streams, glacier-fed lakes and frozen passes, to reach the Amarnath cave.

The shrine devoted to Lord Shiva is 3800 metres (12, 725 ft) above sea level.


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