Aurel Stein
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  Bodelian Library, Oxford.
  Nityanand Shastri Library Collection, Delhi.
  Kashmir Bhavan Centre, Luton.
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Pilgrim to Sacred Abodes
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The most important sacred abodes of the Pandits in Kahmir, Stein visited were the abodes of the Gangabal Lake, the Haramukha Peaks the shrine of Sarada and the Gangodbheda shrine.

August 23, 1891. “The sacred lakes at the foot of Haramukh Glacier are enchantingly glorious. The first one is sacred to Shiva and his faithful Nandi-a bull, the god’s mount. We reached it after an hour and a half climb over high moraines.

The massive ice wall in which the glacier ends has a grandiose appearance.

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Kounsar Nag

On the shores of this quiet lake I met a small band of Dards, a third group of Aryans parallel with Iranians and Indians. It was only a short distance to the higher, more sacred lake which the Kashmiris consider one of the sources of Ganga and a goal of their annual pilgrimages. I breakfasted on the shores of the desolate lake whose shores are strewn with bones. Returned at 5 P.M., wet through crossing icy mountain streams but invigorated by the long march in the fresh mountain air”.

The second tour of this strech was in search of the shrine of Sharada.

This ancient Tirtha though once evidently one of the most important of Kashmir and famous far beyond its limits had in recent time become almost as unknown to the Pandits of Srinagar as the sacred site of Bheda

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Gangabal Lake

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       Vichar Nag

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Group of Dards near Haramukh Glacier

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Young Brahmin boys at Vichar Nag
If the search, Stein made for the shrine of Sharada did not prove quite as difficult, this was due to the fact that Kalhana had left some distinct indications as to its position and also to the fact that the pilgrimage to the shrine was locally observed by the Brahmans of the adjoining tracts.
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