Srinagar: Hailing the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board’s (SASB) decision to cancel the 2021-pilgrimage to holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir in view of COVID-19 as an appropriate step, the custodian of the “Chhari Mubara ‘ , the holy silver Mace of Lord Shiva, Mahant Deependra Giri expressed
hope that by next year normal pilgrimage will be held.
The SASB on Monday announced cancellation of this year’s pilgrimage in the wake of pandemic.
In a video message on Tuesday Mahant Giri said this year also the pilgrimage to holy Amarnath cave shrine has been cancelled like last year.
“Although the decision is not pleasant for the pilgrims, but in view of the pandemic and safety of the lives of lakhs of pilgrims who were coming from different parts of the country besides service providers, volunteers and government officials who were to be deployed for the yatra duty it is an appropriate decision”, the video message said.
He further said, “ I hope by this year next year all the citizens of the country would be fully vaccinated and we can expect normal pilgrimage next year”.
Mahant Giri said, “I also hope that pilgrims who had got themselves registered for this year pilgrimage and those who had planned for pilgrims shall not be disappointed as they would have darshan of Aarti in the morning and evening which will be live telecast on Doordarshan.
He further said, ‘When charri Mubarak shall reach holy cave on Shravanpurnima on August 2nd, we all shall pray to Amaranth ji to eradicate and wipe out this pandemic and accept our prayers’.
Mahant Giri, carrying the Chhari Mubarak, is leading the pilgrims from Shri Amareshwar temple, Akhara Building, Maisuma in Srinagar to holy cave every year. Last year, when the yatra was cancelled due to pandemic, the Mahant Giri alongwith Charri and some sadhus was taken in a helicopter to the cave shrine.
However, in 2019 yatra was cancelled mid-way after the Centre ordered all pilgrims to leave the valley following abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A besides bifurcating the Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (UTs).