BANDIPORA: The administration in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district is abuzz with preparations for the upcoming ‘Chota Amarnath Yatra,’ scheduled to kick off on August 31.
Nestled in Arin Valley’s dense forests on a Himalayan mountaintop, the Maha Daneshwar temple, also known as ‘Chhota Amarnath,’ houses a naturally formed ice lingam. Water droplets gently cascade onto this lingam from above. The pilgrimage to this cave takes just a day, with the narrow space inside accommodating only 7 to 8 individuals.
An official told that the Yatra, covering a 15-kilometer-long route through the picturesque Arin-Dardpora belt, will wind its way via Shampthan, concluding at the sacred Chota Amarnath Cave.
Local residents have expressed their support for the initiative while also highlighting the need for improved infrastructure. “We’re thrilled about the Chota Amarnath Yatra taking place. It’s a welcome step that brings a sense of devotion to our community,” Gulam Mohammad, a local resident said.
However, concerns were raised about the existing road connectivity and basic amenities along the Yatra route. “While we appreciate the effort, it’s crucial to ensure proper road connectivity and facilities for a more comfortable pilgrimage,” Gulam Nabi another resident said.
Bashir Ahmad, another resident said that the Yatra holds immense spiritual significance, and we are grateful for the efforts being made to ensure its success. “We look forward to hosting and assisting the pilgrims during their journey,” he added.
The official said that a comprehensive discussion transpired during the meeting, encompassing essential aspects of the pilgrimage, such as medical facilities, transportation, accommodation, security, and communication amenities.
Security remains a priority, with the Police Department gearing up to deploy ample personnel to ensure safety and maintain law and order. He said that the communication wing of the Police Department is set to provide essential information and support to the pilgrims.
Meanwhile, the administration is also working on installing solar lights along the Yatra route to enhance visibility and safety—(KNO)