STATE TIMES NEWSSRINAGAR: Chhari Mubarak, the Holy Mace of Lord Shiva, was taken to ancient Sharika Bhawani Temple at Hari Parbat in Srinagar on Tuesday to pay obeisance to the Goddess on the occasion of ‘Shravan Shukla Paksha Pratipada’, as per the age-old traditions. A number of Sadhus, led by Mahant Deependra Giri, custodian of the holy mace, participated in the special prayers that lasted more than an hour. The sadhus prayed for everlasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir. Goddess ‘Sharika-Bhawani’ popularly known as ‘Tripursundari’, amongst the mystics, is believed to be ‘Isht Devi’ (Presiding Deity) of the Srinagar city who manifested herself in a figure of ‘Shila’ (Holy Rock) at Hari-Parvat. When media persons asked Mahant Deependra Giri about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on this year’s annual pilgrimage and if he has any message for people in general Mahant said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all walks of life across the globe and shall definitely have impact on the duration of the pilgrimage and number of Yatris that shall be allowed this year to undertake the pilgrimage but final call in this regard is yet to taken by Shri Amarnath Shrine Board”. “Since we are in war against the invisible enemy, we all need to be extra cautious. Quoting an example he said when we can see our enemy in the form of a wild animal, we can watch its movement and possibly can judge its strength too by its built and be more prepared but when we talk about the coronavirus we cannot see it. To win a war we need weaponry, as same is the case with war against COVID-19 and our weapons are face mask, social distancing and sanitizing our hands frequently. We all have to play our role in eradication of the pandemic so that we all once again can have our normal and natural life at the earliest”, Mahant added. The ‘Chhari Sthapana’ ceremony is being performed on July 25 at the Amreshwar Temple in Srinagar and the traditional ‘Chhari Puja’ will be performed on Nag Panchami on July 25, 2020, said a spokesman for Mahant Giri.
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