Lord Shiva's symbol of Silver Mace is carried ceremoniously every year from Srinagar to Amarnath Cave (12779 ft) in northeastern part of Kashmir Valley.
View of mountains surrounding Pahalgam-- bus stand-- street scene-- more buses arrive-- clouds hang how over mountain ranges--pilgrims registration office--booking office --porters and ponies-- porters ???king their meals for the 4-day journey-- stream flowing by--street scenes--woollies, rainooars, walking sticks bags, old coats and 'puja" articles being sold--sadhus--tourists--the 'Mahant' incharge of the silver mace--the maces being worshipped--hymns being sung in praise of Lord Shiva.
It could not be shipped earlier because of heavy rain, we got held up in Pahalgam.
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Background: Lord Shiva's symbol of Silver Mace is carried ceremoniously every year from Srinagar to Amarnath Cave (12779 ft) in northeastern part of Kashmir Valley. A large number of sadhus hippies and pilgrims accompany it. It has to reach the Cave on the fullmoon day of this month and it therefore starts its most difficult part of the trek from Pahalgam four days earlier. Pahakgam on the over of departure is agog with lige and excitement. It should leave on 21/8.
This year the pilgrimage could not leave on time due to heavy rain and snow on high passes enroute. This is unusual. Whether the Silver Mace will reach the Cave on the appointed day is difficult to say at present. It did not leave even on 22/8.