An example of religious faith and harmony, Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra has formally commenced with the first pooja held in the holy cave of Baba Barfani on Thursday.
Amid tight security, slogans of “bum bum bhole” echoed in the holy cave of baba Amarnath in the Himalayan mountains of south Kashmir when a religiously important ‘pratham pooja’ was held there along with ‘aarti’. The Shri Amarnath Yatra officially begins every year with pooja, but this year the government postponed it once again like last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, keeping in view the nature and religious nature of the yatra, the government has decided to hold the Amarnath yatra symbolically.
Apart from CEO Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, Nitish Kumar, DC Ganderbal Kritika Jotsana, CEO Pahalgam Development Authority Mushtaq Simnani, other officials and religious leaders also attended the first pooja on Thursday. On this occasion, the first darshan of the holy snow Shiva Lingam and Mata Parvati was also performed. During the first pooja, special prayers were offered for universal peace, brotherhood and development. Special prayers were offered in the cave of lord Shankar to overcome the present circumstances of Covid-19 pandemic. The holy Shiv Lingam is in its full bloom and the texture of the ice lingam is also slightly better this year which is expected to be a good sight for pilgrims. But after the government has already stopped Yatra registration, only a few people concerned and religious leaders can perform darshan’s of holy Shiv Lingam.
While keeping the traditions alive, this year’s Amarnath Yatra will come to an end with the last darshan on the eve of Raksha Bandhan in the holy cave.
Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra has been affected since 2019 due to various reasons. In August 2019, before the abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the repeal of Sections 370 and 35A, the Amarnath Yatra had to be cancelled due to security reasons. After which an advisory was issued at the official level for the pilgrims and tourists in Kashmir to leave valley immediately. After that, the Amarnath Yatra was postponed last year as well, keeping in view the safety of human lives during the first wave of Covid in 2020.
In 2021, while there was a mixed reaction from various public and political circles regarding the holding of the Yatra, the government once again cancelled the Amarnath Yatra despite the advocacy of the locals to hold the Yatra. However, this year in view of the importance of traditions and yatra, the government decided to symbolically hold Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra.