Srinagar: The annual Yatra to Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir concluded on Monday with Pooja in Pahalgam Anantnag, by a select number of Sadhus as the religious pilgrimage was canclled this year in wake of COVID.
The ‘Chhari-Mubarak’ – a holy Silver Mace, was carried to the cave shrine from Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar early this morning through the special chopper, reports said, adding that traditional rituals were performed by chanting Vedic hymns.
Amidst the COVID outbreak, only a few selected number of Sadhus accompanied the holy Mace and reciting of Vedic hymns and ringing of conch shells.
Besides the necessary prayers, collective prayers were offered for early eradication of the COVID pandemic.
During the Pooja, the custodian of the Holy Mace, Mahant Giri, to make collective effort carrying out their social responsibility by wearing a mask, keeping social distance and frequently sanitizing hands so that pandemic is wiped out and people will once again have a natural and normal life back without any restrictions.
Meanwhile, the armed forces personnel and other staff deployed on yatra duty at the cave en route Baltal, have started winding up their camp after the mace returns to Pahalgam.
On July 5, 2020, with his first visit, the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu marked the year’s first obeisance at the cave in Amaranth in south Kashmir
The obeisance called “Boomi puja” signifies the start of annual Amarnath yatra.
Earlier, keeping in view the COVID pandemic, the JK administration had announced that upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra would be undertaken in a “restricted manner” and only 500 pilgrims would be allowed per day by road from Jammu to the cave shrine in South Kashmir.
The government had said that standard operating procedures (SOPs) for testing of persons entering Kashmir would also be applicable to the intending Amarnath pilgrims.
“The yatra this year will have to be undertaken in a restricted manner so that the SoPs for Covid-19 are strictly adhered to during the conduct of the yatra a maximum of 500 yatris only could be allowed per day by road from Jammu,” Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said earlier in a statement.
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