ll Parties Migrant Co-ordination Committee (APMCC), which has pioneered the reopening of temple movement, conducted yet another grand Yajnya at Gangbal (Harmukt Ganga) the historical religious place of Kashmiri Pandits situated under the foothills of Harmukt range in North-East of Kashmir at the height of 12000 feet, after more than 100 years.
According to the APMCC Chairman and Member Advisory Board of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, Vinod Pandit, who returned to Jammu alongwith the pilgrims today, the Yajnya was organized in continuity with its mission to reopen all the historical religious places of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashyap Meru Peeth to show the existence of Kashmiri Pandits and save their cultural and religious history.
He said that the first of its kind yatra in last 100 years began on June 1 from Historic Naraan Naag from where around 100 Kashmiri Pandits from different parts of the country besides Jammu trekked the 6 hour long hilly track on foot upto Harmukt Ganga (Gangbal).
The event was co-sponsored by RK Bharati Foundation and The Shadow.
The Vedic Yajnya started under the able guidance of Pt Pran Nath Ji while Vijay Kumar Koul acted as Yajmaan and culminated on June 2 at 2 pm am with the Puran Ahuti.
The participants took prasad and began the downward journey to Naraan Naag reaching Srinagar in the evening.
Vinod said that the pilgrimage which took place after more than hundred years in Gandharbal district was conducted to solemnize Vedic Yajnya and the immersion of Pinds in the holy water of Ganges (Harmukt Ganga) for the peace of the all the departed souls of the community.
The participants also conducted Shraada of their departed ones individually as the place is said to be so pious that it surpasses the value of immersing ashes in Haridwar.
Vinod said that APMCC has decided to make it an annual affair from henceforth adding a trust under the name and style Harmukt Ganga Trust has been created to look after the yatra.
Vinod also said that Harmukt Ganga awards will be another feature in APMCCs calendar this year.
He said a Video CD of the Yatra would also be released to show case the rich cultural and religious tradition of Kashmiris Pandits to the entire Hindu community.
Giving details of the programme the spokesman of the APMCC Sameer Raina said that the Yatra was in continuation with the last years Naran Naag Yatra which was also performed for the first time in recent history where more than 300 hundreds KPs participated.
Another leader of the APMCC Ravinder Pandita said in ancient times Naraan Nag used to be the base camp for the Gangbal Yatra adding while last year was the beginning this year the Vedic Yajnya took place exactly on the spot where it used to be performed some hundreds years before.
He appealed the community members to extend financial help to the organization for such endeavors which revive the traditional culture and cultural places of Pandits for the future generation of KPs.
Arun Kandroo, Publicity Secretary of APMCC said that organization would intensify the Hawan movement to preserve the culture, identity and existence of the Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley.
Giving details of the programme he said that the Yatra departed from Jammu on 31st of May and reached Srinagar the same Day. On June 1, the Yatra left Srinagar for Naraan Naag and thereafter a 6-hour journey on foot began upto Gangbal.
The Vedic Yajnya by a renowned Kashmiri Pandit Brahmin Pt Parn Nath started at 6 pm on June 1 and Puran Ahuti was conducted on June 2 at 2 pm after which the Yatra came back to Srinagar.
Prominent dignitaries of Armed forces who participated in the Hawan include Maj Gen. VSS Gouder, AVSM, VSM, GOC CIF(K) and Brig CA Pithawala, AC-CDR, 3 Sector RR.
The yatra was conducted solely by APMCC through its own resources under the heavy security arrangements made by Armed forces and the J&K Police while the civil administration showed a total lack of interest in the whole affair of KPs.
Officers who personally accompanied the yartra upto Gangbal include Lt Col Sumit Bakshi, Officiating Commanding Officer 24 RR, Maj NK Singh, Coy Cdr Chhattargul, Capt ARS Mann, Coy Cdr Kangan,
and Mr Ashfaq Ahmed, SHO Kangan.
The prominent among those who participated in the historic yatra include JK Kaul Bezan, Ravi Kachru, Gen. Secy Athwas and executive member of APMCC, Chand Ji Khar of Vitasta Samaj and executive member of APMCC, Kuldeep Raina, President ZDPC, Srinagar etc.