| Devotees gather atop U Lum Sohpetbneng on Sunday. Telegraph picture |
Shillong, Feb. 2: Thousands of devotees today gathered at U Lum Sohpetbneng, a peak nearly 20km from here, to take part in the annual pilgrimage to invoke God’s blessings.
The pilgrimage is organised by the Seng Khasi Seiñ Raij, an indigenous cultural and socio-religious organisation in Meghalaya, on the first Sunday of February every year when the Hynniewtrep people seek blessings from the Almighty to strengthen their inner-self and aura.
Legend has it that U Lum Sohpetbneng, nearly 1,434 metres above sea level, had linked heaven and earth through Jingkieng Ksiar or a golden bridge.
The peak lies between two valleys, Sumer and Rangmen, overlooking the picturesque Umiam Lake in Meghalaya’s Ri Bhoi district.
It is also said until righteousness reigned, the golden bridge was believed to have linked the Creator with the Khasi race on earth, dwelling in the Khasi and Jaintia hills.
However, the tie between the Creator and the people was severed because of the sins of mankind.
Today’s ceremony began with prayers at the foot of the peak.
It was followed by rituals and religious rites performed to invoke blessings for peace, prosperity and wellbeing of the people.
Sanctified rice and water were distributed to all participants for good health and fortune throughout the year.
The rice is believed to have curative properties that strengthen the inner-self and rngiew (aura) of the individual.