Sufi to debut at Amarnath yatra | india | Hindustan Times
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Sufi to debut at Amarnath yatra

For the first time in the century-old history of the Amarnath pilgrimage in Kashmir, Pakistani artists will take part in a sufiyana music festival.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2006 01:43 IST
Arun Joshi

For the first time in the century-old history of the Amarnath pilgrimage in Kashmir, Pakistani artists will take part in a sufiyana  music festival at  the launch of  the  pilgrimage  on June 11 this  year. The pilgrimage will go on till August 9.

The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board  is  hoping to get the two best known Sufiyana singers from Pakistan, Abida  Parveen  and  Rahet Fateh Ali Khan - nephew of the legendary  sufiyana singer Fateh Ali Khan. Santoor  maestro  Shiv Kumar  is expected to lead the Indian contingent .

Another attraction this time would be recitation of  " Ram katha" by Murari Bapu at the cave shrine.

More than half a million pilgrims are expected this year, while the  number was  four lakh last year.

The schedule for the Amarnath pilgrimage was announced  on Friday and the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board  spokesman made it a point to  stress  that the  yatra duration was  decided by the Chairman of the Shrine Bnoard, Governor  Lt. Gen. S K Sinha, in consultation with Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

It was a bid to underscore the  harmonious relationship between the head of the government and the head of the state on the pilgrimage which had run into several controversies  in the last two  years.

The pilgrimage will  be routed through both the traditional  Pahlagam -  Chandanwarui route as also through a shorter route via Baltal. Snow-clearing operations  are likely to wind up by mid-April, after which arrangements for lodging  the pilgrims will be  made. Steps are underway to widen the track to up to 6 feet from Baltal to Sangam and 4 feet from Sangam to the holy cave.