Kashmiri Pandits brave unrest to perform Gangbal Yatra (video)

Kashmiri Pandits refused to back down in the face of unrest to perform the annual Harmukh Gangbal Yatra which took them to the holy peak of Harmukh mountain peak in Kashmir from September 7th to 11th 2016.

Kashmiri Pandits, puja, video, Gangbal Yatra, worship, Kashmir, India, Vinod Pandit, APMCC
Vinod Pandit, the human rights activist from APMCC at the pilgrimage site. Pic credit: Sachina Raina

Vinod Pandit who is the general Secretary of the Harmukh Gangbal Trust  and is also the Chairman of All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee (APMCC) led the group of Kashmiri Pandits  who gathered from different parts of India to perform the pilgrimage. Gangbal is like Haridwar for the Kashmiri Pandit community.

Kashmiri Pandits, puja, video, Gangbal Yatra, worship, Kashmir, India, Vinod Pandit, APMCC
Kashmiri Pandit group that performed the pilgrimage. Pic Credit: Vinod Pandit

Kashmiri Pandits also performed the religious rituals at the shrine on the auspicious Ganga Ashtami and the Mahashradha (prayer for the dead) during this time. They were also provided security by the Indian Army.

You can watch the Kashmiri Pandits doing puja/worship by clicking below:

Gangbal yatra is a pilgrimage to the Harmukh-Gangbal shrine which is situated at the altitude of 12000 feet.

The yatra was revived after a gap of nearly 100 years in the year 2009 and Vinod Pandit was the man who spearheded the move to begin the Gangbal yatra at that time.

It is Hindu belief that this region is the place where Lord Shiva resides.

The route is picturesque with the lakes, herbs, flowers carpeting the earth, and is breathtakingly beautiful but the path is arduous for a person with average or below average fitness.

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Pic Credit: Vinod Pandit