Chamba: The 44-day-long Manimahesh pilgrimage in the interiors of Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh, dedicated to Hindu god Shiva, will begin next month with authorities expecting over 500,000 devotees, an official said Thursday.
Preparations are under way for the pilgrimage that begins on `Janmashtami` (Aug 10) -- celebrated to mark birth of another hindu god, Krishna, said Additional District Magistrate B.R. Kamal, who is the in-charge of the pilgrimage.
The pilgrimage would end on `Radhashtami`, the birth of Krishna`s consort Radha on Sep 23, Kamal told IANS.
He said work has begun to repair the 14-km trek from the Hadsar base camp, around 65 km from here, to the oval-shaped glacial-fed Manimahesh Lake.
Every year devotees undertake an arduous trek to the Manimahesh Lake from where they can see Mount Kailash, believed to be the abode of Shiva, and offer prayers.
It is believed that the devotees can have a view of the Mount Kailash only if the god is pleased. When the peak is hidden behind clouds, it signifies his unhappiness, the believers say.
The journey starts from Hadsar at a height of 6,000 feet, and after passing through rugged, cold and inhospitable terrain, it concludes at 13,500 feet at the lake.