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On 12th Amarnath Yatra, double amputee from Jaipur vows to keep coming back

The annual yatra to the cave shrine, housing a natural ice stalagmite resembling a lingam, in the Pahalgam area of Anantnag district of the south Kashmir Himalayas began on Saturday.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 07:49 IST

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Baltal, J&K: Anand Singh from Rajasthan's Jaipur lost both his legs in an accident in 2002. A devotee of Lord Shiva, Singh has embarked on his 12th journey to Amarnath, at a height of 3,880 metres to pay his obeisance at the holy cave shrine.

"I started coming to Baba's darbar in 2010. I missed the yatra in 2013 due to floods in Kedarnath and for two years when it was suspended due to the Covid pandemic," he said.

A double amputee, Singh sits in a truck tyre cutout and uses his hands to move.

"For the first four or five years, I dragged myself using my hands but now it has become difficult for me. I travel in a palki (palanquin)," Singh said.

Highlighting the "special" nature of his relationship with Lord Shiva, he said, "This bond is getting stronger every year. That's why I come here." Despite his disabilities, he does not feel "underprivileged".

"It does not matter what people say about me. While some view my endeavour positively, some others criticise me. Not all people are the same," he said.

Singh has pledged to visit the holy cave shrine as long as he can do it on his own.

The annual yatra to the cave shrine, housing a natural ice stalagmite resembling a lingam, in the Pahalgam area of Anantnag district of the south Kashmir Himalayas began on Saturday.

The 52-day pilgrimage will conclude on August 19.

The cave was discovered by a Muslim shepherd more than 150 years ago.

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Published 30 June 2024, 07:49 IST

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