Hindu Pilgrimage To Amarnath Yatra

Thousands of Hindus from mid-June are sent to the annual pilgrimage to Amarnath Yatra to the ice cave in Indian Kashmir, a region with predominantly Muslim populations. Their goal - Amarnath cave situated high mountain valley glacier at an altitude of 4 km. This is - one of the most famous Hindu shrines. There is a cave temple and the holy ice Sivalinga: two-meter block of ice, which changes its size depending on the phases of the moon and is the embodiment of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and rebirth.
Thousands of military and paramilitary police deployed along the route: from the 1990s to the Kashmir struggle with Muslim separatists.
Groups of pilgrims visit the shrine phased in over two months to provide security and logistical reasons. Last year, the government's decision to transfer land to build facilities for pilgrims led to protests and was later canceled. But led to riots and disperse the crowd by security forces, killing at least 50 people, mostly Muslims.

Photos by (AP / Mukhtar Khan)

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