INDIA, July 6, 2020 (Yahoo News): As part of Ashad-Purnima, special prayers were held in Pahalgam on Sunday, marking the traditional start of the annual Amarnath-Yatra in South Kashmir. Chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said on Saturday that taking into account the prevailing circumstances, the pilgrimage must be carried out to a limited extent this year. In view of the Yatra, the holy mace was brought by Lord Shiva to the Pahalgam and Martand Surya temples in South Kashmir. The annual pilgrimage begins today with Bhoomi Poojan in Pahalgam and Chaddi Ashnan (Holy Bath) at the Martand Surya Temple’s fresh water springs.
A special Bhoomi Pujan was organized in Pahalgam under the supervision of Mahant Dipindra Giri. Although there was a significant shortage of followers due to the coronavirus pandemic, local followers were present at Martand Surya Temple in Mattan during Saint Ashnan. On this occasion, Mahant Dipendra Giri said that it is very important to organize the Yatra, while in the current situation the number of pilgrims or the choice of alternative route is irrelevant. He said that this sacred pilgrimage has been taking place in Kashmir for centuries, which is confirmed by sacred books like Brengish Reshi. When reviewing preparations for the Yatra, the chief secretary said that a maximum of 500 pilgrims per day would be admitted to the cave shrine on the road from Jammu.
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