Amarnath ice lingam melts due to high temperature

The natural formation took place in the cave shrine last month but it has melted down 80 per cent since then

Srinagar: The naturally formed ice lingam in Amarnath cave shrine has melted almost completely owing to increased temperature, reports received here said.

According to earlier reports, the Shiv lingam had fully formed by mid-June but its size and girth started decreasing thereafter. It was reduced to half by the first week of July and when defence minister Rajnath Singh visited the place of worship on July 18, it had melted more than 80 percent.

Security personnel posted at the shrine.

The legend goes that during the month of Sawan or Shravan (July and August), the ice stalagmite forms a natural Shivling or ice-lingam which waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon at Amarnath. It's a phenomenon that attracts tens of thousands of devotees from across the country and abroad every year. However, this year’s yatra has been cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pilgrimage the devotees embark on an arduous journey over rugged mountains by walking or on ponyback, or are carried, to pay obeisance at the cave, which is believed to be the abode of Lord Siva. By the side of Siva's are two other ice lingams, believed to be those of Parvati, and their son, Ganesha.

In May, the security forces deployed at a nearby base had reported that the ice lingams of Parvati and Ganesha had also formed fully. The cave-shrine has been secured by a 53 feet wide and 7 feet tall second rung of grill fencing which has made it impossible for anyone to go near the sanctum sanctorum. Even the security forces deployed in the cave periphery have been kept at bay.

In 2008, the cave-shrine witnessed a magnificent formation of the Shiv Lingam after three years. Some experts had attributed the non-formation of the lingam in some years to global warming and shifting of glaciers.

History records that the first pilgrimage to the cave-shrine was undertaken in 1000 BC, though little else is known of the antiquity of Amarnath.

Next Story