The Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, paid obeisance at the Amarnath cave shrine on Monday.
Sinha, who is also the Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), performed puja at the shrine, accompanied by senior officers from the army, civil administration, police and SASB.
"May the divine blessings of Lord Shiva ensure good health and happiness in everyone's life and bless us with strength to overcome the ongoing health crisis," Sinha said.
The annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine is a testimony to the tradition of cultural syncretism in Jammu and Kashmir. But considering the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been decided to keep the annual pilgrimage "symbolic" this year, with no physical darshan by the devotees.
However, respecting the sentiments of the devotees, the SASB has arranged for live telecast of the morning and evening 'Aarti' from the holy cave shrine.
All the traditional religious rituals shall be performed at the shrine as per past practice, the Lt Governor said.
"The J&K government has taken a slew of measures to reduce the spread of the virus and every arrangement has been made to ensure that Covid appropriate behaviour is being followed during the Aarti and other rituals.
"Let us resolve to effectively deal with the pandemic by following the Covid guidelines and work towards furthering human welfare," Sinha said.
Both the morning Aarti at 6 a.m. and the evening Aarti at 5 p.m., each for 30 minutes, will be live-streamed on SASB's official website and on the app specifically dedicated for the devotees.
The devotees can pay virtual obeisance through SASB's portal www.shriamarnathjishrine.com/AartiLive.
The same may also be streamed through the shrine board's mobile-based application which can be downloaded from Google Play Store.