Anantnag: On the occasion of Ashad Purnima the saffron robed silver-mace of lord Shiva, traditionally known as ‘Chhari Mubarak’ was on Monday taken to Pahalgam for Bhoomi Pujan ceremony.
With this age-old tradition associated with the annual yatra to the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir commenced.
Amid the chanting of Vedic hymns, a group of Sadhus led by Swami Mahant Deepindar Giri, the custodian of the holy mace, took the ‘Chaari Mubarak’ from the temple inside the Akhada Building complex in Srinagar city after prayers.
It was later taken to Gori Shankar Temple in Pahalgam, where Bhumi Puja was performed.
The puja saw participation of several Pandits.
Earlier, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag Syed Fakhrudin Hamid, SSP Anantnag Ashish Kumar Mishra, and other officers from the Police and civil administration warmly received the group.
Speaking to media persons, Giri appreciated the hospitality of the locals during the annual Amarnath Yatra.
“The overwhelming response exhibited by the locals to the Yatra is a clear indication of warm and rich Kashmiri culture,” he said.
Giri said that the local population has always shown their compassion and brotherhood towards the yatra and the yatris.
“People as well as the J&K administration have always ensured smooth yatra. Kashmir is an abode of Sufism and locals are emotionally attached to the yatra,” he said.
The head priest also hailed the facilities put in place for the yatris by the J&K government.
“From the last few years there has been a huge improvement to facilities being provided to the yatris. The efforts put in place by the administration are commendable. But there is still a scope for improvement,” he said.
On its return, the ‘Chari Mubarak’ was taken to Martand Temple in Mattan where prayers were again held.
Later it was taken back to Srinagar.