Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir), Aug 1: Pilgrims carried Lord Shiva’s mace (Chhari Mubarak) from its abode here and left for Amarnath Yatra, marking the final ritual of the annual sojourn.
Ajaz Ahmed Jan, a local legislator, said the state administration had taken all steps to ensure the pilgrims do not face any difficulty during the journey.
“We have to cover a distance of about 22 kilometres by foot and the journey will conclude at a temple. You will see people from all religions participating in this procession. The concerned departments have made all the arrangements. Civil society, political groups have taken all steps to ensure that the pilgrims do not face problems,” he said.
Besides the priests of the shrine, sages, holy men and several pilgrims carry this holy mace every year during the Yatra.
The head priest of Vishwa Nand Saraswati, Dashnami Akahara, Poonch, said the ritual was discontinued for some time due to the threat by militancy, but after witnessing an overwhelming response, it began again.
“This pilgrimage was discontinued in the middle due to threat by militants, but we have seen large crowds participating since the last three years,” he said.
After the rituals at Amarnath, the ‘Chhari Mubarak’ will be brought back to the Shankaracharya Temple where it will remain till the pilgrimage next year. (ANI)