The 46-day long annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in the Himalayas of South Kashmir will begin on 1 July.

This was announced after a meeting of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) held here on Thursday under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik.

Keeping in view the foremost concern of the safety and security of the pilgrims, the SASB decided that the 46 days Yatra would commence on 1 July, an auspicious day of Masik Shivratri as per Hindu Calendar and conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on 15 August.

Considering the carrying capacity of the existing tracks and other available infrastructure in the pilgrimage area, the SASB decided that 7,500 pilgrims per day each of the two routes, excluding Yatris who would travel by helicopters, would be allowed to secure advance registration which will be done through 440 designated branches of Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank located in 32 States and UTs.

The SASB approved the proposal for online registration of a limited number of intending pilgrims per day on a pilot basis which will be in addition to the existing modes of registration.