When Governor NN Vohra visited the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, the natural Shivling stood at seven inches, as against 15 feet high snow image that pierced the rocky roof when the pilgrimage began on June 18. Today, the Shivling has melted completely.
Vohra, who is also ex-officio chairman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board caught in the vortex of controversy in Jammu after the land transfer order was cancelled, had visited the shrine on Sunday to take stock of the arrangements for the pilgrims.
“It is divine that the Shivling lasted this long this year, despite rising mercury and all time high number of pilgrims, more than 450,000 in less than one month of the pilgrimage,” said an official of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board on condition of anonymity.
The Shivling, which stood at 12 feet in April, went up in its height by three more feet because of usually chilly May. And on June 18, when first prayers were offered, it was 15 feet high.
Second half of June and first half of July were hot and humid in Kashmir and the unprecedented rush of the pilgrims, despite the controversy over the land, contributed to the heat in and around the cave, resulting in the melting of the icy stalagmite, the officials said.