The Amarnath yatra entered its last leg as 'Chhari Mubarak', the holy mace of Lord Shiva, on Saturday left for the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, even as the number of pilgrims paying obeisance to the ice-lingam crossed six lakh.
The saffron-robed mace was taken from its Dashnami Akhara abode at Budshah Chowk in Srinagar to Pahalgam by a group of sadhus and pilgrims led by its custodian Mahant Deependra Giri, official sources said.
The chhari mubarak was offered prayers at various temples en route to Pahalgam, which serves as the traditional base camp for the annual pilgrimage, the sources said, adding the sadhus will offer special prayers to the Chhari before leaving for the cave shrine housing naturally formed ice-shivlingam.
The holy mace will cover 46-km Pahalgam-cave route amid night halts at Sheshnag and Pachtarni before reaching the cave shrine on August 2, coinciding with Raksha Bhandan, marking the end of the annual pilgrimage.
The Amarnath yatra commenced on June 25 from the twin tracks traditional 45km Pahalgam route in Anantnag district and 16km Baltal route in Ganderbal district and so far over 6.05 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the shrine.
Before leaving the temple, the Mahant advised the pilgrims to go for proper medical check up before embarking on the yatra as over 90 pilgrims died, mostly due to cardiac arrest, during this year's yatra.