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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Shrikhand pilgrimage, tougher than Amarnath, to begin in Himachal on July 7

The two-week long Shrikhand Mahadev pilgrimage, considered tougher than the journey to the Amarnath cave shrine in Kashmir, will begin in Himachal Pradesh on July 7 with a portion of the trek still marooned in snow, officials said on Friday.

The first batch of devotees will leave from Jaon village, the base camp some 150 km from state capital Shimla, on July 7 and will last till July 20, Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) Manmohan Singh, who is in-charge of the pilgrimage, told IANS.

This time the pilgrimage is going to start almost a week in advance keeping in mind the monsoon rains.

The 32-km one-way journey, mostly vertical, on foot starts is treacherous.

This time a minimum of 5 km trek is still laden with snow after the region witnessed the snowfall in the first week of this month.

Earlier 1-2 km of the man-made trek made from rocks and boulders piled under snow.

The SDM said a team of the Shrikhand Mahadev yatra trust has carried out the survey of the entire trek and the government would now carry out the necessary repairs for the convenience of the pilgrimages.

Trust founder member B.C. Thakur said the entire trek is being repaired, while a snow-covered path is also being made for the pedestrians.

“All works relating to relaying of the trek and places to hold langars (community kitchens) and to position rescue and medical teams would be completed before the start of the yatra,” he added.

After passing through rugged, cold and inhospitable terrain, the pilgrimage concludes at Shrikhand Mahadev peak, where the devotees pay obeisance to 72-foot tall lingam.

It is believed that Lord Shiva meditated at Shrikhand and the Pandvas also used the trek to reach the peak during Mahabharata.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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