Amarnath Lingam Melts Completely
15 July 2008
: The holy Shiv Lingam at the Amarnath shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas has completely melted, sources in the Amarnath Shrine Board revealed on Wednesday. The development came amid reports of several violations of guidelines by the shrine board authorities. For example, the yatra, which should have started on July 18, was allowed a month earlier. Also, in disregard of the Gupta Commission report, which probed into allegations made in 2007 that the Lingam had been tampered with, recommended that only 10,000 people should visit the cave on a single day. The recommendation was made in view of reducing the human activity around the cave. However, the recommendation has not reportedly been adhered to. Going by the recommendation, only 3,00,000 people should have visited the cave shrine. However, nearly 5,00,000 pilgrims have visited the shrine so far since the start of the yatra last month. The Shiv Lingam, which at its best achieves a height of 12 feet, lasted just 28 days this year. Last month, the authorities had put a grill around the naturally formed Shiv Lingam, at the 3,880-metre high cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir Himalayas, to slow down its melting allegedly due to human activities in and around the cave. A controversy had also erupted last year after devotees alleged that the Shiv Lingam in the cave had been tampered with. Jammu bandh Meanwhile, Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti has called for a bandh in Jammu today. The Samiti, which is a congregation of 28 social groups and political outfits, has been protesting the state government's decision to revoke the transfer of government land to the Amarnath Shrine Board. It is also demanding the resignation of state Governor N N Vohra. Though no violence has been reported so far, normal life has been paralyzed in the city.