14th annual Gangabal yatra commences in Ganderbal

After performing Puja at Naranag temple, devotees set on 36-km journey on foot to Gangabal lake, which is located around 14,500 feet above sea level in the Harmukh mountain range.
After performing Puja at Naranag temple, devotees set on 36-km journey on foot to Gangabal lake, which is located around 14,500 feet above sea level in the Harmukh mountain range.Special arrangement

Ganderbal: The 14-th annual Gangbal yatra commenced here in Ganderbal district on Saturday.

The pilgrimage to the Harmukh-Gangbal Lake situated at an elevation of 3570 meters started here from Naranag area of Kangan in Ganderbal district commenced early Saturday after the group of Kashmiri Pandits was flagged off by the Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Shyambir Singh and SSP Ganderbal Nikhil Borkar . Other civil and police officials were present.

Around 47 yatris left from the Naranag temple for annual Harmukh Gangbal yatra amid religious fervor and were accompanied by SDRF team, Police and other officials.

After performing Puja at Naranag temple, devotees set on 36-km journey on foot to Gangabal lake, which is located around 14,500 feet above sea level in the Harmukh mountain range.

According to officials sacred puja would be performed on the banks of Gangbal lake on Sunday following which the pilgrims will return from the Gangbal next day.

The pilgrimage was organized under the banner of the Harmukh Ganga (Gangabal) Trust (HGGT) and All Parties Migrants’ Coordination Committee.

Pertinently, District Administration has made all arrangements including accommodation, food, medical and security arrangements for the pilgrims.

Among others, SDM Kangan, SDPO Kangan, Tehsildar Kangan, SHO Kangan and other concerned were present on the occasion.

Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Shyambir Singh told Greater Kashmir that the administration has made all related and security arrangements for the yatra.

Pertinently, the traditional three-day-long yatra restarted in 2009 after a long period and has been revived as part of efforts to restore historic religious places which are of importance to Kashmiri Pandits and preserve their cultural and religious history, officials said.

Gangabal is situated in the hills of Harmukh range in north east of Kashmir valley, at a height of 12000 feet on the Ganderbal-Sonamarg road.

Gangabal is also called Harmukut Ganga and is believed that this place is pious as Haridwar where pilgrims perform prayers and immerse ashes of the dead. The route is dotted with several other lakes and temples.

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