How to trek to Amarnath cave?

So far, over 150,000 pilgrims have performed the yatra from both the north and the south Kashmir routes.

Srinagar: No cigarettes, no plastic, no slippers and no saris either please... as the number of devotees who performed the Amarnath pilgrimage reached 150,000 on Thursday, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) again issued a detailed list of dos and don`ts for pilgrims.

"So far, over 150,000 pilgrims have performed the yatra from both the north and the south Kashmir routes. Except for 14 pilgrims who died due to natural causes, the yatra is proceeding smoothly," said an official of the state government here.

In its renewed advisory for pilgrims trekking to the high altitude shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva, in Jammu and Kashmir, the SASB said: "The yatris must respect the pristine environment and do nothing whatsoever to pollute it.

"Use of plastic is strictly banned and punishable under the law. The yatris are advised to use toilets in the camps established by the Board," a press release issued by the SASB said here.

Pilgrims, it added, "must neither smoke nor carry/consume any kind of narcotic or alcoholic substance. They are advised not to use slippers, because there are steep rises and falls on the route to the holy cave.

"They must wear shoes with laces and not attempt any short cuts on the route as doing so would be dangerous. They must not break traffic discipline or try to overtake others in difficult stretches of the track."

The pilgrimage, it pointed out, traverses through high mountains and devotees must carry "adequate woollen clothing, a small umbrella (which covers the head with an elastic band around the forehead and supported by a strap around the chin), wind-cheater, raincoat, sleeping bag, waterproof shoes, torch, walking stick with a proper hand grip, cap (preferably a monkey cap), gloves, jacket, woollen socks and trousers".

The advisory also said, "The climate is unpredictable and changes abruptly from sunny weather to rain or snow and the temperature may sometimes abruptly fall to 5 degrees celsius or lower.

"For the ladies, saree is not a suitable dress for the Yatra. Salwar kameez, pant-shirt or a track-suit will be more comfortable. Keeping in view the tough nature of the trek, small children shall not be allowed to undertake the Yatra.

To enable authorities to take urgent necessary action in case of an emergency, trekkers were told keep in their pockets a note with the name, address and mobile number of co-pilgrim proceeding to the shrine on the same date.

Vaseline, cream, daily medicines and edibles such as dry fruits, toffees, chocolates is also on the list for the trek to the shrine at a height of 13,500 ft.


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