Thursday, August 4, 2011

Amarnath 'Shiva lingam' melts again before 'yatra' ends

It's bad news for fervent devotees of Lord Shiva as the holy 'Ice Lingam' at the Amarnath cave has melted 10 days before the yatra formally ends, Times of India reported.

Times of India reports that unprecedented rush of devotees has contributed to the ice lingam completely melting away days before the 'yatra' ends. This year has seen the highest number of devotees visiting Amarnath.

In less than a month, nearly 600,000 pilgrims have so far performed the annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath, officials said.

Authorities say the increased number of pilgrim rush and high temperatures in Kashmir over the past few weeks can be attributed to the premature melting of the 'Lingam'.

Use of camera flashes, burning of agarbathies and other human interferences were responsible for the premature melting of the 'Lingam'.

The early melting of the 'Ice Lingam' is not a new phenomenon as in 2007 the ice stalagmite melted away completely.

In 2006, the Amarnath Shrine Board was embroiled in a huge controversy as it was alleged that to keep the yatra going, authorities dumped ice over the original 'Lingam' as at the very start of the 'yatra' size of the 'Shiva Lingam' was very small.

Last year, nearly half-a-million pilgrims visited the shrine despite the summer unrest in the Kashmir Valley that left 110 people dead in clashes between mobs and the security forces.

The Amarnath cave, in which the Lingam is formed, is situated in a narrow gorge at the far end of the Lidder valley at an altitude of 3,888 metres. Temperature here is always at sub-zero level.


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