Monday, 21 July 2014

SHRI AMARNATH JI YATHRA


21, July 2014
Sri AMARNATH JI blessed us on 05th July 2014. After my Yathra to Kailash and Chardham ( Yamunothri, Gangothiri, Badhthrinath and Khedharnath ), my dream of Yathra to Amarnath  was fulfilled. When Mr Prabhaharan T S R, called me during end of January 2014 and asked me to join with them for this Amarnath Yathra. Immediately I responded his call and confirmed.   The relationship we had during Kailash Yathra continued this yathra too.  Our team consists of 20 members. All the arrangements were made by Mr TSR Prabhaharan.  Without him I could not made this yathra. After that  Medical certificate from Chief Dr of Rajiv Gandhi  Hospital Chennai and registration also done during February 2014.  I was little upset when I met with an accident and bedridden for 1 ½ months.  During Mr Chandramouli’s daughter marriage he encouraged me and I got hope of making this yathra.  The main itinerary in this yathra are Amarnath, Shiv Khori Cave and Shri Vaishno Devi Cave.

 
My yathra permit
The schedule of our Yathra. There were many deviations from the original and the actual schedule is as given below.

DATE
DESCRIPTION
REMARKS
01-07-2014
Departure  from Chennai and reach Jummu through Air India flight and from Jammu to Sri Nagar through Rao Travel Bus.
Night stay at Srinagar
02-07-2014
Srinagar sight seeing – Dal Lake, Shikara ride in the fore noon. Visit to Shri Shankaracharya temple and sight seeing  of Nishat Bagh ( Park ) and Mogul Garden in the afternoon.
Night stay at Srinagar
03-07-2014
Srinagar to Gulmarg for sight seeing ( Somebody had taken the Gondola ride through cable trolley for the phase I ) and Phase II was closed
Night stay at Srinagar
04-07-2014
Left for Sona Marg ( Muslims called for  strike in connection with PM Modi’s visit to Kashmir) to escape started earlier around 05.15 Hrs. Sonamarg sight seeing
Night stay at Sona marg.
05-07-2014
Sonamarg to Baltal. Shri Amarnath Ji yathra started around 06.30 Hrs. Reached Amarnath around 17.30 Hrs ( It was learnt that dharshan will take around 3 hours and closed by 19.00 Hrs. Decided to do dharshan on the next day morning.
Night stay at Amarnath Hill very close to Holy cave ( 2 KM ).
06-07-2014
Very good dharshan of Shri Amarnath Ji and started for Baltal
Night stay at Baltal in a tent.
07-07-2014
Started for Pahalgam. ( original plan of staying at Srinagar dal lake house boat was changed ). Visited Kheer Bhavani Temple. After security check at Pahalgam gate of  Shri Amarnath Yathra Route
Night stay at Pahalgam
08-07-2014
Phahalgam to Katra and visited Shiv Khori cave shrine of Lord Shiva.
Night stay at Katra
09-07-2014
Dharshan of Maa Vaishno Devi – Helicopter travel up to Top helipad and back after dharshan.
Night stay at Katra
10-07-2014
Started for Amritsar. Visit Golden temple, Jallianwala Bagh and Wahah Border flag lowering ceremony. Return to Jammu
Night stay at Jammu.( Problems in accommodation in a single hotel )
11-07-2014
Visit to Shri Raghunath Ji shrine and shopping
Night stay at Jammu
12-07-2014
Shopping and left to airport around 12.30 Hrs. Reached Chennai around 00.30 Hrs on 13-07-2014 through Air India flight via New Delhi.


This trip was the first time to most of us.  There are two routes to reach Amarnath. One is via Baltal and other through Pahalgam.  Even though the actual yathra begins  from Srinagar, but now from Chandanwari the yathra is 5 days. Pahalgam is 96 KM from Srinagar. Amarnath is situated above 3888 meters above MSL and 16 KM  ( in the map it is 14 KM ) from Baltal and 46 KM from Pahalgam. So we had chosen the short route through Baltal.

ROUTE MAP
During our Amarnath yathra some of the tourist places like Srinagar Dal Lake, Shikara ride ( Boat ride ), Nishat Garden, Mogul Garden and Sri Sankaracharya temple, Sonamarg, Gul Marg  were  are also added, since it may not be possible to make a second trip to these places.

SHRI AMARNATH JI HOLY  CAVE / SHRINE
Lord Shiva The destroyer is in the form of Ice Lingam The lingam is formed naturally, which is believed to wax and wane with the moon.

DISCOVERY OF AMARNATH CAVE
When Maa Parvathi asked Shiva’s secret of  immortal, Shiva agreed to tell the same in a place where no living beings were  present. So he had chosen the place Amarnath cave. Before reaching the cave he left  Nandhi,  at Pahalgam, Moon at Chandanwari, Snakes at Lake Sheshng Ganesha at Mahagunas hill and five elements ( Earth , water, Air, Fire and Sky ) at Panjtarni.  Lord Shiva entered in to the cave along with Maa Parvathi  and took Samadhi . Lord Sshiva started narrating his secret of immortality two pigeons heard the same and the two birds also become immortal. Even today we can see the two pigeons in this climate and altitude. 

REDISCOVERY OF THE CAVE
A saint gave coal to shepherd  Buta malik and when he opened at home he found they changed to Gold coins. When ran out to thank the saint.  When he reached the cave the saint disappeared and a ice Shiva Lingam was  there. Then on wards Amarnath cave has become holy  place for the Lord Shiva devotees. 
MY EXPERIENCE DURING AMARNATH JI YATHRA
The route to the  cave was very risky. We have started our yathra from Baltal gate around 06.30 Hrs through Horse. Since the trek was tedious we have preferred the pony ride. Even though  I had  the problem of walking  after the accident, I was forced to walk in the deep slopes. In some of the places there was land slides. We had crossed with warn signs of shooting stones, falling boulders, land slides. The pony ride took about 11 Hrs, which is 5 hours than the normal due to traffic jam ( Traffic jam applicable to pony rides also ). For the  ongoing ponies the down coming ponies gave way by stopping on one side Also many places there was not enough width to cross two ponies. Finally we reached the hill top around 17.00 Hrs. Considering the closing time of the temple and time to move in the Q,  decided to go for dharshan on the next day (06-07-2014).


Early morning we started  our trek towards Holy cave on the ice route  from the tent. It was too slippery and only few people could manage without falling. After security check up climbed through steps from the base and had good dharshan. It was almost 14.00 all of our peoples gathered after dharshan and returned to Baltal through pony. On the way it was drizzling with ice crystals to a short while. On reaching the Baltal base station we had our dinner at langer ( Free meals supply ). The crowd was too large than expected. It was due to diversion of devotees from Pahalgam route and those who could not go to Chardham preferred for Amarnath Yathra. 

LOCATION OF THE CAVE SHRINE : CLICK HERE

 Rest at langer at 9th Km 
 At the 9th Km bridge -ponies are waiting to come down. 



 Ponies are travelling on the ice path 
 At the centre of the valley we can see the Holy cave 

SOME OF THE TIPS FOR SRI AMARNATH JI YATHRIS.
  1. The clothes to be carried are one set of dress with winter clothes ( Sweater, monkey cap and shawl). Thermal wear is not necessary. Take medicines for head ache, diarrhea and suitable medicines for their regular intake for pressure, diabetes, heart problems. 
  2. Chocolates, dry pickles, dry fruits etc.
  3. Sun screen lotions and Vaseline.
  4. Yoga/  Breathing exercises / walking  to be practiced at least before starting of the this yathra to meet the low oxygen content at the Amarnath Holy cave area. 
  5. Bottled Drinking water is available through the route at a cost of Rs 20 to 40 Rupees. If you have strength you can carry. In addition to this hot drinking water is supplied by military personnel.
  6. Langer is available in two places on the route in addition to the private shops from Baltal gate. But langers are available through out the Yathra route from Jammu and Srinagar.
  7. Water melons, tea, water bottles, beverages are available in the private shops.
  8. Telephone facility is available at base station at Baltal, 3 KM from the base and near the Holy cave.
  9. Only Post paid sim cards will work in Jammu & Kashmir areas including Amarnath route. Alternately Yathri can purchase a new mobile connection using the Yathra permit at Sanamarg, Baltal or Pahalgam.
  10. Walking stick is necessary to trek up to the Holy cave. ( Stick is available at base at Baltal Gate and Near the Pony parking area.
  11. Drinking water and foods are served by the langers even to the devotees standing in a Q.
  12. Camera and Mobiles are not allowed to the holy cave but can be taken up to the security point. Depositing of these cane done at the security point for which a receipt will be given on free of cost. This arrangement is done by the shrine board.
  13. We may handover the mobile and camera in any of the for which they will issue receipts on free of charge for which we have to buy pooja prasadhams.
  14. Shoes and chapels may be deposited at the middle of the steps for which a token will be issued. But most of the people leave on the steps itself.
  15. Pen, leather belt, leather wallet  is not allowed  to carry to the Holy cave.
  16. Stay in the night at hill top near Holy cave is in a tent provide by the private parties is an ideal choice than the langers. The private tents will charge Rs 500, this includes rent,  Rugs and woolen blanket.
  17. Hot water can be availed on cost for bathing and toilets. Toilet facility is not up to the mark ( ZERO ) by the Shrine board.
  18. It is not advisable to trek during night and during raining. It is advisable to trek in groups. If you prefer trek by walk, walk slowly do not strain much especially going up the hill. Medical facility is available at the base, middle of the trek route and  top of the holy cave.  
  19. Less weight  will be more comfortable yathra, since the pony walas will prefer less weight persons.
  20. Pony will be charging Rs 1600 for up and Rs 1600 for down and we have to pay for their meals. Dolly will be charging Rs 16500 for one way. Those who are suffering from spinal problem and hip pain are not advisable to take pony.
  21. Those who are travelling through helicopter will have to trek for 5 KM, or through pony or dolly.

SHRI MATA KHEER BHAWANI TEMPLE
After finishing our yathra to Amarnath Ji, we were proceeding to  Pahalgam from Baltal we had been to Shri Kheer Bhawani Temple  6 KM before Sambal. The temple is in the midst of Chinar trees. This Hindu temple is surrounded by masques. Hence there will be a tension exists always. During annual festival all the Kashmir Pandits will assemble in this village for the mela.

The history of the temple goes like this.

Kshree Bhawani temple situated at Tullamulla, in the Ganderbal District, is an important shrine. The temple is associated with the Hindu Goddess Ragnya Devi. An annual festival is held here on Jesht ashtami ( May – June ), when Hindus visit this place in large numbers. Pilgrims also throng on every shukla paksh ashtami round the year and perform hawans to please the mother.

The historic temple of Ksheer Bhawani was built by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1912 and latter renovated by Maharaja Hari Singh surrounded by streams. The place abounds in Chinar trees in and around temple complex within which hexagonal spring wherein deity of Goddess Ragnya is decorated and housed in a small white marble temple.

The legend goes that worshiped mother Ragnya who showered her blessings on his kingdom of Ravana. The goddess thus resided in Srilanka. Later on due to Ravan’s misdeeds the Goddess cursed him and ordered Hanuman Ji to take her to the “Satisar” ( Kashmir), a place out off from the outside world by snow clad mountains. The mother on her vehicle along with 360 Nagas was installed at Tullamulla, exclusively preferring milk, sugar and vegetarian forms of offerings. The mother is worshiped by the name Maha Ragnya.

The abode of Mata Maha Ragnya is a mystic spring. The mystic is only one and four of the world, where numerous Nagraj and their Ashtkul-Nag Devas reside. Sh. Ganpati, Bhimraj and Kumar resides at the door of amrit Kund. In the middle of the amrit kund towards east resides AsthNag  Devas namely Vasukinag, Neel Nagaraj, Taksheq Nagaraj, Takshek Nagaraj, Padbnagaraj, Maha Padamnagaraj etc,.

In the centre of the amrit kund Anant Nagraj resides which is surrounded by one thousand core Nagas having two thousand eyes and two thousand tongues. Mata Maha Ragnya is seated on this Anantnagraj on the one thousand peteled rose. The temple in amrit kund is a divine invitation to all the devotees to see how Para-Prakriti functions. It is vivid that the colour of the spring changes serving as an oblique omen about what is going to happen in near future. The pink, milky and light green colour of the spring suggests the auspicious omen and the black and dark red indicates the wrong in auspicious signals.

Tullamulla Nag were the mata Rangya resides in the form of Jal-rupi having the form of water or serpent has allegorical meanings. The surrounding water  of island is the ocean of infinite life energy full of dormant potentialities  which spread  unfold expand and transport in the precious stone that grants all desires.
As late as 1844 people used the cross the marshes by walking our reeds growing in the sump. The legend has it that the curiosity about the spring spread further from the learned Brahman Sh. Govindjoo Gadoo had a vision of the Goddess who manifested herself as a serpent. The devotee Brahman carried a vessel of milk arranged a boat rowed through the marshes  of Tulmul and upon reaching the sacred spot to which the serpent spring Goddess had led him slowly poured out the milk.

Supreme mother Ragnya is verily “Maha Ragnya”. The world “ Ragnya” means the divinity of establishing preservation and protection of manifested world. She is the most adorable mother who brings forth the entire universe. She keeps the cycle / the life in the process through different tires of consciousness known  as “ Chita-agni-kunda-sambhuta”, which refers to the consciousness aspect. She accepts no trace of ignorance. She is the Vaishnavi sprits always in the tune  with her concert adored as “Thousand faces Bhuteshura”.

As we know the “Vedas, tantras and sutras are the rare source of knowledge of the supreme reality which on the practical realization give true solace and eternal joy. Among the paths suggests by the sutras for realization of the truth, sufficient importance has been laid on the path of devotion. The sincere clear and true devotion lies in the sense of motherhood which is the undeniable fact. Supreme power therefore is approached and worshiped as mother. The mother is thus the supreme reality, supreme love, supreme beauty, realization of the truth supreme  sublime and divine as mother is the final beatitude of life.


Kshree Bhawani is eulogized as Goddess of learning and knowledge on the mean done level and the Goddess of wisdom and enlightenment on the spiritual level. She values education and grants blessing for various examinations to all her devotees. It is fact that all leading saints have undergone penance sadhana in Khir Bhawani Complex and got the spiritual bless at this place.
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE :CLICK HERE
Main entrance guarded by Military personnel.
 Second entrance 
Sri Ganpathi and Hanuman Shrine 
Shri Kheer Bhawani  
Moolasthanam with amrit kund
A small shrine under chinar tree
A duck is swimming in a nallah outside the temple  ( Above water it seems to be calm but to move and keep balance the legs will be struggling always. This is applicable to human beings, means - out side he may look calm but he will be struggling with worries.

SHIV KHORI
Shiv Khori is located at village Ransoo, in Reasi District of Jammu & Kashmir. Khori means cave. Shiv Khori is about 200 meters long with two parts. From the main entrance part to the other part the passage is  one meter wide and 1 to 1 ½ meter high.  We have crawl through this passage to the next part. The are natural formation of Lord Shiva, Maa parvathi, Ganesha, Nandhi, Six hood snake, Vishnu, Ram Lakshman, Sitha and munivars. As per the legends 380 million deities exists in the cave. Apart from the entrance to the cave an exit path was created recently in 2014. The cave extends at the newly formed exist. It was believed that the cave end at Sri Amarnath Cave.

Water trickles from the roof of the cave. Maha Shiva Rathri is being celebrated every year. Beautiful 3.5 Km trek road was formed from the village to the cave shared by pedestrians,  ponies and dolly walas.  The temple was maintained by the Shiv Khori Shrine board and latter Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine board is looking after.
HOW TO REACH 

Bus service is available from Katra ( 80 KM ), Udhampur ( 120 KM ) and Jammu ( 140 KM ) on the north side.
LOCATION OF THE CAVE SHRINECLICK HERE
 Pony is ready to take you to the cave shrine 
 View of the valley
 A small shrine on the way.
 Sri Ram mandhir under construction 
 The neatly paved path to holy cave 
 Another view of the valley
 A bridge - still we have to go further..
 Entrance of the holy cave 
 Entrance to the holy cave 
                                                             Entrance to the holy cave 
SHRI MATA VAISHNO DEVI SHRINE
It was believed that unless Mata Shri Vaishno Devi calls we cannot go to this Holy cave. This is the Place where Mata’s skull was fallen here.

This is a cave temple located in Trikuta mountain , which has 3 peaks. Mata Shri Vaishno Devi is in the form of natural rock form ( Pindies ) in side the cave. The three pindies has the common base at the bottom. The three heads are called the holy pindies. The entire rock body is immersed in the water an a marble platform was constructed latter. The three Pindies  each are distinctively different  from the other two in colour and texture. The three Pindies represents Maha Kali ( Right ), Maha Lakshmi ( Middle) and Maha Saraswathi ( Left ). There is no statues, Pictures or Idols.  Shri Mata Vaishno Devi is considered  to be an incarnation  of the above supreme energies.

All along the trek and at Bhawan there are many Photographs explaining the nature of dharshan inside the holy cave. The inlet and outlet to the caves are constructed with marbles. The entrance to the cave is 98 feet. The cave was discovered about 700 years before by Pandit Shridhar.

There is a Shiva shrine in a cave a level below Sri Mata Vashno Devi’s Cave. Ram, Lakshman and Seetha temple with Sri Anjenear in front was constructed at a latter stage.

Locker facility is available to lock the valuables on showing the Id card on free of charges. Camera and Mobile are not allowed inside the Holy cave. There are about 6 Q complexes with priority for dharshans. Each person is checked for security before entering the holy cave.  Even the prasadhams are being distributed by the security personnel.


Since we had booked our onward and return yathra to the hill through Helicopter, we had to walk only 3 KM from the helipad to Holy cave. Looking from the trek path we could see only the temple complex like multistory building.


LOCATION OF THE CAVE TEMPLE :CLICK HERE
 Holy cave complex looks like a multistory building 

 Foot path is covered for shade
Helipad at the top of the hill - from here 3.5 KM to holy cave 

SHANKARACHARYA TEMPLE, SRINAGAR.

The sacred Shankaracharya temple is also known as Jyeshteswara located on a 1000 feet ( 300 meters )hill top from the base in the heart of Srinagar City. Now it is under the control of ASI ( Archaeological Survey of India ).  It was believed that there was Buddhist monument at that place dates back 250 BC built by Emperor Ashoka’s son Jhaloka and latter it was replaced by the king Lalithaditya  during 7th century. There is also an another version that Shri Shakarar had built the temple up the base of 20 feet high octagonal plinth  with stones and steps of 250 and odd and super structure was built latter by Shah Jahan. ( The Persian inscriptions was also found – Now I could not see any thing ). In the center of sanctum there is a Shiva Lingam was installed. The Original ceiling was a dome shaped and the present brick ceiling was replaced a century ago. 

From the base  we can go through auto and proper motor able road was laid. The  steps were constructed neatly to climb up to the shrine. It was  panoramic sight of Srinagar with Dal lake, when viewed from top. There is also a meditation hall a level below the sanctum sanctorium, believed that the same was used by Shri Shankaracharya.


DAL LAKE
It is the second largest lake in the sate known as “ Jewel  in the crown of Kashmir” or “ Srinagar’s Jewel”. The shore line of the lake is about 15.5 KM. On the banks of the lakes Mogul gardens, House boats are located.  The small boats are called as Shikaras and boat ride  is called as Shikara Ride. The lake covers 26 square kilometers and is a part of wet land covers approximately square Kilometers, which includes Vegetable gardens ( Potato, Tomato, Cucumber, radish, pumpkins etc.), and Shopping of textiles and dry fruits in the intricate water ways like maze. The floating gardens are 4 Kilo meters width and 8 KM long spread over 26 sq kilometer and approximately 12 meters depth. The gardens consists of reed rafts of three meters  and are covered by 1 meter thick layer of earth and mud vegetables and melons are grown on these artificial  floating island. The lake is a combination of three lakes.


Some of the wet lads in side the lake are possessed by private parties who has their own boats for their transportation. We have enjoyed the shikara ride and taken the photographs in Kashmiri Traditional dress.   And had been to a garden inside the lake.















NISHAT BAGH ( PARK ).
Located at the banks of Dal Lake  and the Zabarwan mountains is at back side of the park. This was built by Asif khan, the elder brother of Nur Jahan  in the year 1633. It was built like 12 terrace type of architecture. The garden is about a KM from Rajbhavan, in Srinagar.
 Entrance to the park 
 Zabarwan mountain at the backdrop

 Persiyan style of archtecture
 Beautiful colour - Dark violet


MOGUL GARDENS.]
This is Persian style of architecture. These gardens were developed during Mogul ruler Jahangir. 
 Water fall at the entrance of  the park



 Chinar tree 
 beautiful colour of the leaves and bud
 See the colour of the leaves and flower
 Water flows from the mountains at back 
SONAMARG.
The meaning of Sonamarg is “ Meadow of Gold “. This is about 84 KM from Srinagar and it lies at an altitude of 2800 meters above MSL. The river/ Nallah is called as Sindh, which is a large tributary to Jehlum River in the Valley of Kashmir.  It has a historical gateway for the silk road to China and Gulf Countries.
It is a beautiful site to see the snow capped mountains. Also this is an important place for skating during snow season. There was a little activity of skating at the valley. 

We stayed at Sona Marg before leaving to Amarnath. In the evening at bazaar we met two Tamil Military personnel, who guided us and gave important tips for the Amarnath Yathra.
 A beautiful view of the valley 
 water flows under the  frozen ice
 The other side of the mountain with out ice



  Enjoying time  with local children
 Beautiful valley


our team member Mr Velsamy palsamy  posing with an aged lady ( Age must be 90+ )

GULMARG

It is a hill station often used as commercial route between the Moguls and British rulers. It would be an wonderful place for skating during snow season. 52 Km from Srinagar at an average elevation of 2690 meters ( 8825 feet). The previous name was Gaurimarg, name after Maa Shri Devi Parvathi. ( Gauri – Parvathi Marg – meadow ). So it is called as Meadow of Shri Parvathi devi. There is also a Shiva temple by a wife of a king. The original name was changed as Gulmarg Mogul King Yousuf Shah and Jahangir. The LOC lies within a KM from Gulmarg.
It was raining when we reached Gulmarg also phase II was also closed. There was no activity of skating. After rain thick mist was  also covered the mountains and some of us skipped the cable car ride. Instead we went for horse riding  to see the flowers.
 Valley of flowers 
Valley of flowers 
A private hotel 
 A Shiv mandhir
 The cable trolley service station 
Enjoying the horse ride in the  rain 
AMRITSAR
The Harimandir Sahib of the Amritsar Golden temple  is considered a holy place for Sikhs. The holiest text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib is always recited in the Gurdwara. At the second floor all the Sikhs used to read the holiest text of Guru Granth Sahib. It is a custom that people are allowed to enter in to the Golden temple only after the head ( Hair ) is covered with cloth.  The Golden temple is situated at the centre of the amrit tank where large number of colour fishes were grown. Some of the Sikhs takes bath in the tank before entering in to the Golden temple. Neat walk way with coir mat to reduce the heat on all the four sides/ corridors with four entrances are provided for the devotees. Fans were provided for those who are standing the Q. Drinking water is  being supplied at the four corners of the inside corridor.  Prasadham/ sweet is also supplied  at the exist side. A separate building is constructed for keeping the foot wears and shoes on free of cot.


It was learnt that free meals supplied by the Golden temple, which are prepared through a modern kitchen. Many friends  advised us to have the food, but we missed the opportunity.
 Front of Golden temple complex - construction (complete with marble)  in progress

 Amrit tank with guard
 The corridor outside 'Amrit' (அமிர்தம் ) tank


 Golden temple in the center of Amrit tank

 Second floor  of Golden temple 
 Mural - old paintings on the ceiling - stair way to second floor
Colour fishes in the Amrit tank 


JALLIANWALA BAGH
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, was a unethical and violet event in the British rule of India. On 13 April 1919, a crowd of non-violent protesters, along with Baishakhi pilgrims, had gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh garden in Amritsar to protest against the arrest of two leaders despite a curfew which prevails at that time. On the orders of Brigadier General Reginald Dyer, the Gurkha army of 50 riflemen fired on the crowd for ten minutes until the ammunition supply was exhausted, directing their bullets largely towards the open gates through which people were trying to run out. Due to this the death toll  raised to 370 leaving 1200 wounded ( The actual figure was on the higher  side ).. This shocked the entire nation and a proper inquiry was not conducted on Dyer . This leads to the non-co-operation movement in the year 1920 – 1922.
Name board on the left of the building 
Name board above the historic lane 
The bullet markings
Martyrs well'
Memory sthubi 

WAGAH BORDER

Witnessed the Wagah border  “'lowering of the flags” ceremony with music and the commentary is a daily military practice that the Border security forces  ( BSF )  of India and Pakistan have jointly followed since Oct 1947. Indian BSF guards one of the longest border between India and Pakistan in the world.   This ceremony takes place every evening before sunset approximately 18.15 Hrs at the Wagah border, which as part of the Grand trunk Road is one of the road link between India and Pakistan. Before flags lowering the  Girls and young children from the visitors were encouraged to dance to the patriotic songs with Indian flags on their hands. 
  
The ceremony starts with a blustering parade by the soldiers from both the sides, and ends up in the perfectly coordinated lowering of the two nations' flags.   One Jawan (BSF) stands at attention on each side of the gate. The march past by the BSF jawans looks very great and the legs goes above their heads ( Before actual drill – warming up is done at  the back of the office ). As the sun sets, the iron gates at the border are opened and the two flags are lowered simultaneously. The flags are folded and the ceremony ends with a retreat that involves a brusque handshake between soldiers from either side, followed by the closing of the gates again. The spectacle of the ceremony attracts many visitors from both sides of the border, as well as international tourists. Those who visits Amritsar, also  proceeds to Wagah border in the evening.
 BSF Office 
 A section of the crowd
 Another section of the crowd 
Entrance to the ceremony area
SHRI RAGHUNATH TEMPLE - AT JAMMU


The main deities are Sri Ram, Sri Seetha and Sri Lakshman. On the prakaram sannadhis for Parvathi Shiva ( including Spadikam in Natarajar Sannadhi), Sri Saibaba. Sudhai Sirpangal of various form of Hanuman, and Kadha pathirangal of Ramayan. 
 
Main Entrance
Vimanangal view from the street
Shiva sannadhi vimanam
GENERAL & SOME OF THE OBSERVATIONS
Throughout Kashmir army vehicle with armed personnel  are stationed
Before construction of this bridge lot of accidents happened
 After constructing the Bajranki Baba temple accidents has came to Zero
Lot of memory stones, plaques with inscription of the demised relatives installed on the side of the road. Number of such memory stones are quite common in Jammu & Kashmir area. 
... OM SHIVAYA NAMA ...

9 comments:

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