Amarnath Yatra Ends As Chhari Mubarak Reaches Shrine
28 August 2007
Srinagar: The Chhari Mubarak, holy mace of Lord Shiva today reached the shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, marking the culmination of the two-month annual pilgrimage. Being carried by its custodian Mahant Deependra Giri, the silver mace covered in saffron robes reached the cave around 6 am from Panchtarni for prayers marking the end of the yatra coinciding with the Hindu festival of 'Raksha Bandhan'. The first to arrive at the 300-cubic metre cave was Mahant Deependra Giri along with a group of sadhus to perform puja, official sources said. In the absence of Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt Gen (Retd) S K Sinha who is on a private visit abroad, chief executive officer of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) Arun Kumar offered prayers at the shrine. The yatra, which began on July one, passed off peacefully barring a few grenade attacks on the pilgrims at Baltal and Awantipora on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and several disruptions on account of inclement weather with nearly three lakh pilgrims visiting the cave shrine, SASB spokesman Madan Mantoo told PTI. However, 42 pilgrims and two Muslim youths who were providing services to the pilgrims died during the yatra, mostly due to natural causes, he added.