Ancient Gangbal yatra to resume after 100 years in Kashmir
Jammu (PTI) After a gap of nearly a century, the pilgrimage to the Harmukh-Gangbal shrine situated at an altitude of 12000 feet is all set to begin from Srinagar on Monday.
"A batch of over 40 Kashmiri pandits today left for ancient Harmukh-gangbal yatra to the sacred lake in Kangan belt of Ganderbal district from here today," chairman of all party migrant coordination committee (APMCC) Vindood Pandit told reporters here.
The traditional three-day-long yatra has been revived as part of efforts to restore historic religious places which are of importance to Kashmiri pandits and preserve their cultural and religious history, he said.
According to mythology, the region is also the abode of Lord Shiva from whose hair locks the holy river flows down forming the lake.
Gangbal is situated in the hills of Harmukh range in north east of Kashmir valley, at a height of 12000 feet on the Ganderbal-Sonamarg road. Gangbal is also called Harmukut ganga and is believed that this place is pious as Haridwar where pilgrims perform prayers and immerse ashes of the dead.
The last village Wusan is about 20 km. from Srinagar.
Ramradhan is the first pilgrimage centre about 5 km. from Wusan. Then the journey begins to Yamhear which is about 6-km. away. It is a steep ladder-like path and perhaps that is why it is called Yamhear (Lord Yama's ladder).