Bhaderwah, Aug 18: Devotees thronged ancient Vasuki Nag Temple Ghatha here to join “Charri” (Holy Mace) of Kailash Yatra, a symbol of Nag culture in Jammu and Kashmir.
The devotees from different parts of the country thronged 2066 year old Temple believed to be the house of Lord Vasuki Nag (Serpent God), to take part in three day long Kailash Yatra. The yatra along with Charri, which started from the ancient Vasuki Temple Ghatha, will reach holy Kailash Kund tomorrow.
Every year thousands of pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir and other States participate in “Kailash Yatra” which commences on the 14th day after “Shravan Purnima”. This pilgrimage is considered as one of the toughest as pilgrims have to trek 21 kilometers of steep hills to reach the holy Kund (Lake), which is situated at a height of 14500 feet from the sea level, where devotees take a dip in the ice-cold water to seek the blessings of Serpent God.
MLC Naresh Kumar Gupta, MLA Bhaderwah Daleep Singh Parihar, State President Janta Dal (S) Mast Nath Yogi and President Sanatan Dharam Sabha Bhaderwah Ved Kumar Kotwal also joined the Charri.
As thousands of devotees converge at “Kailash Kund” every year with religious fervour but they rue State Government, Bhaderwah Development Authority (BDA) and Tourism Department for not providing even the basic facilities and leaving them at the mercy of God that too at height of over 14000 feet from the sea level.
“I came to know about this pilgrimage during my Amarnath Yatra and I decided to join this ancient Nag Yatra. Now, I am here for the second consecutive year. Although this is one of the most mesmerizing pilgrimage and leaves you spell-bound but there is hardy any facility provided by the Government or any other agencies”, said a pilgrim from Surat Gujarat, Aarushi Patel.
Not only pilgrims but some political representatives are also up in arms against the present Government in general and BDA in particular for not providing even the basic facilities to the pilgrims which they used to get earlier.
Meanwhile tight security arrangements have been made for the yatra in which police, CRPF and Army jawans have been deployed all along 21 kilometers route.
“We have made elaborate security arrangements as we have been preparing for this yatra since last two months and beside police cops, the CRPF personnel have also been deployed all along the route to provide foolproof security to the pilgrims”, said SDPO Bhaderwah Brijesh Sharma, adding that Army has sensitized all the high altitude reaches surrounding the yatra route.
Earlier, MLA Ramnagar RS Pathania along with MLA Chenani Dina Nath Bhagat and MLA Bani Jivan Lal flagged off the Kailash Kund Yatra from Dudu. SDM Dudu, SDPO Ramnagar, senior sectoral and nodal officers from administration and office bearers of Vasuki Nag-Kailash Kund Committee were also present on the occasion.