Devotees pay obeisance at newly found cave of Lord Shiva

The newly discovered cave of Lord Shiva in the Pir Panjal range here became the focal point on the first Navratra, as scores of devotees offered prayers at the 11,500 feet high shrine.

All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee (APMCC) activists, led by Chairman Vinod Pandit, along with local populace, including Muslims, scaled mountainous track and performed pooja at the shrine yesterday.

The devotees converged at Banihal town and proceeded to Krawa village on foot here the cave, housing Amarnath like rare Shiv Lingams, is located. The enthusiasm of pilgrims was worth seeing as Khurshid Chopan, who discovered the cave earlier last week, explained how he was directed by Lord Shiva in his dream to the cave.

Speaking on the occasion, Pandit said that the mention of these kind of caves was also there in 'Neelmat Purana' and in Kalhana's 'Raj Tarangni' (a chronicle of the Kings of Kashmir), indicating that this cave might be thousands of years old. "It is a rare cave where Shiv lingams are formed exactly like the Amarnath, the only difference being that these Lingams are permanent in physical structure," APMCC

spokesperson, King C Bharti, said.

"It was due to these kind of rare religious heritage of Kashmiri Hindus that we are demanding immediate passing of Temples and Shrines Bill," he added. The Bill, 'Jammu and Kashmir Hindu Shrines and Religious Places (Management and Regulation)', aimed at proper management of the Hindu shrines and religious places was introduced in the state Assembly on March 9, 2009.

Last Friday, the Assembly has sent the Bill to Select Committee of the House. Bharati, meanwhile, regretted that even after so much media coverage and clear apprehensions of some departments, the local administration has still not taken any step to protect and preserve this rare cave of Lord Shiva.

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