The 56-days long annual Amarnath pilgrimage in the mountains of south Kashmir will commence on 28 June. This was announced on Saturday after the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, chaired a meeting of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) here.

Those present at the meeting included BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, Nitishwar Kumar, Chief Executive Officer SASB, Pandurang K. Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and members of the board and other senior officers of the Shrine Board also attended the meeting.

Regarding the duration and date of commencement of the Yatra 2021, the Board, keeping in view the foremost concern of the safety and security of the pilgrims, decided that a 56-days Yatra would commence on 28 June on auspicious day of Ashaad Chaturthi as per Hindu Calendar, and conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on 22 August.

Advance registration of pilgrims will commence from 1April through 446 designated branches of Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank, located in 37 States and UTs. The Board will also enable the live telecast of morning and evening Aarti for devotees across the globe.

Some major decisions were taken to facilitate the pilgrims and other stakeholders for the smooth conduct of the Yatra. Considering the carrying capacity of the existing tracks and other available infrastructure in the Yatra area, the Board decided to enhance the daily route-wise pilgrims ceiling from 7500 a day each route to 10,000, excluding Yatris who would travel by helicopters, would be allowed to secure advance registration for the pilgrimage. Laying special emphasis on providing best-inclass healthcare facilities to all the visiting devotees and service providers, the Lt Governor directed the concerned officers to upgrade the present healthcare facilities on both yatra routes with latest equipments and augment strength of the medical staff to handle emergency cases.