Amarnath ice ‘Shivalingam’ has started melting thick soon after the commencement of the Yatra on June 28. A top Security official deputed near Amarnath Cave told CNS on condition of anonymity ‘Shivalingam,’ a stalagmite worshipped by Hindus as the phallus of Lord Shiva was 16 to 18 feet long when the Yatra started and only after ten days, its size has come down and it is now only 4 feet long.
“The thickness of the ‘lingam’ has also got affected and if there would be no decrease in temperature, ‘Shivalingam,’ will melt completely within few days,” the official said.
He this year the number of Yatris visiting Cave is much lesser than last year as the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board is strictly following the directions of Supreme Court and allowing only 15,000 Yatris to visit the Cave from both Balatal and Pahalgam route. “Never from last ten days had we seen more than 5,000 Yatris visiting the cave. Registration system has regulated the Yatra in a well manner, however despite lesser number of Yatris visiting the Cave, the Shivlingam is melting at a rapid pace and if it would melt before the duration of the Yatra, that would be the biggest disappointment for the pilgrims,” Commanding Officer, 54 CRPF S.C.S. Rawat told CNS adding that there is a need to limit the Yatra period.
“The Amarnath cave region witnessed long spells of warmer temperature compared to previous years. This could be one of the reasons for early melting of the ice lingam but another important factor is the ‘human induced temperature’ around the cave,” an official said.
Met officials believe that if there is no respite from the heat, many pilgrims would have to be content with the trek and return without the darshan of the icy stalgamite formation