The 39-day Amarnath Yatra, which saw 130 people die in road accidents and because of medical reasons, concluded on Thursday as 'Charri Mubarak', the mace of Lord Shiva, reached the 3,880-metre high Himalayan cave shrine amid Vedic chants.
TThe custodian of the holy mace, Mahant Deependra Giri, accompanied by more than 100 'sadhus' reached the shrine with the Charri Mubarak in the morning, a Shri Amarnath Shrine Board official said.
This year, the yatra had been in the news for all the wrong reasons. The 130 deaths -88 because of medical reasons, 42 in road accidents- had even prompted the Supreme Court to issue notices to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government to explain the lack of medical and other facilities.
TMore than 6.20 lakh pilgrims thronged the cave shrine this year. The holy mace of Lord Shiva arrived after an overnight halt at Panjtarni. Religious fervour prevailed as the Charri Mubarak was taken to the shrine on the day of Shravan Purnima, which coincides with the festival of Raksha Bandhan.
TWhile 88 pilgrims died on account of medical reasons, 42 others were killed in road accidents. Governor N N Vohra, who is the chairman of the SASB, and CEO Board Navin K Choudhary participated in the special prayers at the cave shrine.