Srinagar: The saffron-robed holy mace of Lord Shiva popularly known as "Chhari Mubarak" today left for 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, marking the final phase of the 55-day yatra.
The saffron-robed mace was taken from its Dashnami Akhara abode at Budshah Chowk in Srinagar to Pahalgam by a group of sadhus and pilgrims led by its custodian Mahant Deependra Giri, officials said.
The chhari mubarak was offered prayers at various Shiv temples en route to Pahalgam, which serves as the traditional base camp for the annual pilgrimage.
The holy mace will cover 46-km Pahalgam-cave route amid night halts at Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Pachtarni before reaching the cave shrine on August 21, coinciding with Raksha Bhandan - marking the end of the annual pilgrimage.
The Amarnath yatra commenced on June 28 from the twin tracks - traditional 45-km Pahalgam route in Anantnag district and 16-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district and so far a total of 3,52,386 pilgrims had paid obeisance at the shrine till 2 PM friday.
As many as 14 pilgrims died, mostly due to cardiac arrest, during this year`s yatra.