|September 4, 2010|
Devotees begin annual pilgrimage to Manimahesh lake in Jammu and Kashmir
Bhaderwah (Jammu and Kashmir): Thousands of Hindu devotees commenced their annual pilgrimage from Jammu and Kashmir's Bhaderwah city to the sacred Manimahesh Lake located in Himachal Pradesh. The annual pilgrimage
of devotees of Lord Shiva begins on Janmashtami (birth anniversary of Lord Krishna) and culminates on Radha Ashtami (birth anniversary of Lord Krishna spouse, Radha). On reaching the destination, located in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, the pilgrims take a dip in the holy lake and pray for peace, success. After the holy dip, the devotees offer prayers to Mount Kailash. "This pilgrimage is part
of our ancient religious tradition. In accordance with the prevalent customs,
we undertake the journey while singing and dancing, which is loved by our deity,
Lord Shiva. We believe that Lord Shiva listens and answers all our prayers at
the Manimahesh Lake," said Keshav Saran, a devotee. Several pilgrims play musical
instruments to display their faith, while others stop by at local temples to offer
prayers to their revered God. Among the pilgrims a septuagenarian devotee also
took part in the pilgrimage and braved the rough weather. "We undertake the arduous journey while remembering our deities and Lord Shiva, and play instruments such as Damru and pipes. We also decorate their idols with flowers. Along the way,
the religious folk also arrange for food and accommodation for all the pilgrims,"
said Pyare Lal, another pilgrim.
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