Chamba (Himachal Pradesh), Sep 23: The 45-day annual pilgrimage to the Manimahesh lake located at an altitude of 13,500 feet in Himachal Pradesh ended peacefully Sunday, an official said.
Over 500,000 lakh people performed the pilgrimage this year. Six devotees died due to medical reasons and accidents, the official said.
The pilgrimage concluded on Radhashtami (the birth of Lord Krishna’s companion Radha) amid chanting of religious hymns at the lake, B.R. Kamal, the additional district magistrate and the pilgrimage in-charge, told IANS.
Every year, people trek to the oval-shaped and glacier-fed lake located in Bharmour Valley to take a dip in it and catch a glimpse of Mount Kailash, believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva, from there.
The traditional ‘Chhari Yatra’ or the procession with the mace of Lord Shiva, started from the 1,000-year-old Lakshmi Narayan temple of Chamba, 450 km from the state capital, Sep 16 on its onward journey to the lake.
During the pilgrimage, six people have died – four deaths were caused by accidents and two pilgrims died due to heart attacks.
The journey on foot starts from Hadsar at a height of 6,000 feet and concludes at 13,500 feet at the lake, a distance of 14 km.
This pilgrimage is considered as arduous a trek as the one to the Amarnath cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir.