Soon after Amarnath cave in Jammu and Kashmir was declared as the silence zone by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the rumors of banning mantra chanting and ringing bells at this Hindu Shrine had started doing the rounds. Many Hindu groups had staged protest over the decision made by the NGT and criticised the ban in the rituals of the prayers done at the shrine.
But to the respite of the masses, holding religious sentiments towards the holy place, NGT recently clarified that declaring Amarnath as the noise pollution free zone did not mean by banning the praying rituals but meant that the devotees should remain silent in front of the idol for the sanctity of the cave.
Reason behind announcing Amarnath as ‘silence zone’
According to the NGT, the silence zone at Amarnath shrine is declared beyond a certain boundary where the ice stalagmite, which is worshiped as ‘Shivalinga’, is standing. The NGT has urged the devotees to stay quiet in front of the idol so that no adverse noise can impact the Shivlinga. Not only this, the tribunal has also directed the shrine committee to make the devotees fall in a single line from the entry of the cave till its exit. Apart from that restriction on the offerings made by the devotees in front of the Amarnath idol has been made by the NGT.
More details about NGT and Amarnath cave
The tribunal said that less noise will help the environment and there will be fewer avalanches in the mountains surround the Amarnath cave. NGT has taken this decision on the plea made by Gauri Maulekhi, an activist who works for the progressive environment. However, NGT will revisit the case on January 18, 2018, and whatever decision will be given by the tribunal on that day will be final.
Amarnath is one of the holy shrines of Hindu located in the Jammu and Kashmir state where thousands of devotees throng to pay their obeisance every year. Amarnath cave is an abode of naturally formed ‘Shivling’ ice stalagmite and can be reached by the devotees after a long trekking of the hilly terrain. Located at the height of 3,888 m (12,756 ft) and for about 141 km from Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir is the most sacred destination for the annual Hindu pilgrimage.