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Board says lingam small, not fake

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Life is a dream
Staff member
A large number of devotees every year visit the holy cave shrine of Amarnath situated on the narrow openings between the mountains of Lidder valley at a height of 3,888 metre in south Kashmir. The Amarnath Cave is one of the twelve holiest shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, collectively known as 'Jyotirlingas'.
More than 5,00,000 pilgrims are expected to visit the holy cave shrine this year. Last year, the pilgrimage remained incident-free and more than four lakh devotees had a glimpse of the 'ice Shivalingam (phallic symbol of Lord Shiva).

The lingam is formed naturally with an ice stalagmite, which waxes and wanes with the moon.

However, the lingam has been alleged to be manmade this year and the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) is facing the cold heat.
The Mahant of the Dashnami Akhada, where the Amarnath Yatra begins, is seeking a judicial inquiry into the functioning of the Board, which is accused of making an artificial lingam.
The Board has however, described as "unfortunate" the attempts being made to rake up a controversy over the ice-lingam formation at the holy cave, saying there is no question of the Board tampering with the sanctity of the revered shrine.
The Board adds that it was not a commercial organisation looking for profit, but only a facilitator to regulate and provide logistic support for smooth pilgrimage.
"This year due to high temperatures the Shivalingam had not been formed only a small Shivlingam had formed, but we did receive reports that some people had put some snow. I don't think its possible to import Shivalingam. It is a motivated campaign, some people in enthusiasm may have put something," CEO of SASB, Dr Arun Kumar says.
Reacting to media reports, a spokesperson of the SASB had said that the Board got information from its sources from the holy cave that there was very small lingam formation this year compared to previous years.
Accordingly, as per routine, a team of board officials visited the cave in the second week of May and found that the lingam formation had not taken place, he added.

The team found the cave-top totally free from snow and the glacier cover thereon receded by 100 metre or so. The Shivalingam site was found dry.
The spokesman had also said that prior to commencement of the annual pilgrimage, complaints about piling up of snowflakes and application of vermilion on the Shivalingam by some people had been received. However, the grill at the sanctum sanctorum was immediately raised and the side entrance closed.
Sources have told CNN-IBN that engineers from Maharashtra were taken to the shrine to make the lingam. The Malik clan of Batakote, the Muslim caretakers of the shrine also agree that all's not well.
"Shankar bhagwan ki meherbaani hai is saal wahan Shiv bhi nahi hai aur shiv lingam bhi nahi hai. Hamare jawan wahan gaye the to unhoon ne kaha suna hai kuch bahar se laaya hai (It is the grace of Lord Shiva that the thee is no Shiva and no Shivalingam. Our army had gone there and they told that they heard of something has been added),” President of Malik Clan, Guhlam Qadir Malik said.
Some devotees opine that if the lingam hadn’t formed this year the authorities should have let it be.
However, for most, there faith hasn’t been shaken. Lakhs are braving the bitter cold to walk 36 kilometre to the shrine to get a glimpse of the lingam, whether natural or not.

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