Srinagar: The annual pilgrimage to the
3,880 metre high cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir
Himalayas was temporarily suspended today following inclement
weather, leaving thousands of yatries stranded.
The yatra was suspended on both the routes - traditional
46-km Pahalgam in Anantnag district and shortest 16 km Baltal
in Ganderbal district after heavy rains rendered the tracks
unsafe, official sources said.
"No yatri was allowed to move from the base camps of
Nunwan along Pahalgam route and Baltal this morning," the
However, the sources said over 2800 pilgrims who had
reached near the cave shrine offered their prayers.
In addition, several thousand pilgrims are also camping
at various halting stations along the twin routes and have
been directed not to venture out unless the weather improves,
the sources said.
The authorities are monitoring the situation at hourly
basis and all the pilgrims are safe, they said.
The Amarnath pilgrimage commenced on July 1 and so far
over 4.25 Lakh pilgrims have visited the cave shrine, which
houses a naturally formed ice-shivlingam.
Meanwhile, a fresh batch of 1,261 pilgrims left Jammu
this morning amid tight security arrangements.
Comprising 703 men, 300 women, 14 children and 244
sadhus, the batch left from the base camp at Bhagwati Nagar
in a fleet of 35 vehicles around 0930 hours, police said.
Despite melting of the Ice Lingam of Lord Shiva on July
29 at Amarnath, pilgrims continue to throng the shrine.
The pilgrims were expected to reach their respective
destinations of Baltal and Nunwan in Pahalgam base camps by
the evening, they said, adding from these camps they will
under take journey by foot to the shrine tomorrow, if weather