The "manmade" Shivlingam at the Amarnath cave has disappeared. While there are allegations that the 4-ft-high snow lingam has been removed, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) says it has just melted. With the SASB's inquiry into the reported installation of the artificial lingam in progress, the new development has raised eyebrows.
"Every year, the lingam melts within a month of its formation. This time, too, it has melted," Arun Kumar, SASB’s CEO, told the Hindustan Times on Sunday. "It’s a natural phenomenon."
Some were, however, not convinced by the SASB’s version. They said the lingam’s disappearance — like its appearance — was manmade.
Mahant Deepinder Giri, custodian of the holy mace of Lord Shiva that is taken to the shrine every year, wondered how the lingam could melt all of a sudden. He said pilgrims had seen the snow lingam just a couple of days ago.
After visiting the shrine, Rajinder Sharma, president of the Amarnath Yatra Welfare Board, too said the lingam had been "removed". He said it was a "mischief" played by SASB to fool people.
Sharma and Giri have a point. How could the lingam melt when the place had been receiving snowfall and the temperature had dipped below zero-degree Celsius? (The yatra had been suspended for three days because of heavy snowfall.)
Also, as Giri pointed out, the ice icon of goddess Parvati next to the Shivlingam was intact.