Press Trust of India
SRINAGAR, 14 AUG: The ongoing pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalaya remained suspended for the second consecutive day today due to continued downpour in the Valley.
“Due to the continuing heavy downpour since yesterday, the forward movement of pilgrims towards the holy cave has been suspended today from both the Baltal and Nunwan base camps,” Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) Navin K Choudhary said.
He said the yatra has been suspended in the interest of safety and security of the Yatris.
“If the weather improves, the yatra would be resumed from both these camps tomorrow,” Mr Choudhary said. The yatra to the 3,880 metre high cave shrine, housing the naturally formed ice ‘Shivlingam’, was suspended last afternoon after the rains rendered the twin tracks from Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district unsafe.
Several hundred pilgrims are stranded at various camps enroute to the cave along the traditional 45-km Pahalgam cave route and shortest 16-km Baltal route and have been directed to stay back at the camps till further orders.
The yatra commenced on June 28 and is scheduled to end on 21 August, coinciding with the Hindu festival of ‘Raksha Bandhan’.
So far, over 3.51 lakh pilgrims had paid their obeisance at the cave shrine. This year, 14 devotees died of natural causes, mostly cardiac arrest, during the yatra.