Srinagar: The five-day annual Harmukh Ganga yatra by Kashmiri Pandits commenced on Thursday from the Naran Naag temple in Ganderbal district.
Commander Sector three Rashtriya Rifles Brigadier Brij Mohan and chairman of All Parties Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) Vinod Pandit flagged off the yatra.
"Pilgrims from different parts of the country assembled at Srinagar yesterday and moved towards Naran Naag where they stayed for the night and then proceeded on foot towards holy Gangbal lake for an eight-hour foot journey," Pandit said.
He said a joint `shraadha` by the pilgrims will be performed on the auspicious day of `Ganga Ashtami` at Gangbal lake tomorrow, while the pilgrims will return on September 15.
"The yatra has seen significant growth over the past five years," Pandit, the APMCC chairman and the brain behind the concept of annual Harmukh Ganga yatra, said.
He said `Charri Pujan` of Ganga charri at Naran Naag was conducted this morning ahead of the commencement of the yatra.
"This year the yatra is being organised by the Gangbal Trust which was floated by the APMCC some years back as a sole trust for organising the yatra, hawan and other religious activities for the Harmukh Ganga," Pandit said.
He said APMCC and the trust was exploring the possibility of using the traditional route of Chittar Gul next year so that devotees can pay obeisance at Sukh Sar and Dukh Sar on the way to Harmukh Ganga.