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Amarnath Yatra resumes from both routes after being briefly suspended due to heavy rains

Amarnath Yatra resumed from both the on-foot routes (Baltal and Pahalgam) after significant improvement in the weather. 

Amarnath Yatra resumes from both routes after being briefly suspended due to heavy rains
Image Credit: PTI

JAMMU: The ongoing annual Amarnath Yatra, which officially commenced from June 28, resumed again on Saturday after being briefly suspended due to heavy rains.

According to ANI, Amarnath Yatra resumed from both the on-foot routes (Baltal and Pahalgam) after the improvement in the weather. 

With the improvement in the weather, the air sorties by administration also resumed from Baltal in Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier on Saturday morning, the Amarnath Yatra from Jammu was suspended owing to frequent disruptions caused by heavy rains since the beginning of the annual pilgrimage.

Nearly 2,000 pilgrims, who were stranded in Udhampur due to unpleasant weather, left for the Pahalgam base camp this morning, a police officer said.

"The Yatra from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here has been suspended. No pilgrim was allowed from here but the stranded convoy, carrying 2,032 pilgrims, including 315 women, left for Pahalgam base camp in south Kashmir this morning," he said.

The decision to suspend the Amarnath Yatra was taken in view of the inclement weather, he added.

A majority of the pilgrims in the third batch who left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp on yesterday were stranded in Udhampur district due to frequent disruption in the flow of traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

While 844 pilgrims, including 229 women, who opted for the 12-km Baltal route managed to reach their destination late last night, 2,032 pilgrims who chose the traditional 36-km Pahalgam track were stopped by the authorities at Tikri and other places in Udhampur as a precautionary measure.

"After getting the road clearance, the pilgrims were allowed to start their journey towards their destination this morning," the police officer said.

There was an incident of shooting stones at Battery Chashma in Ramban district. Later, the highway was cleared for traffic.

A flood alert was also sounded in south and central Kashmir after many parts of the state were lashed by monsoon rains intermittently since June 27, leaving thousands of pilgrims who have reached the twin base camps of Baltal in Ganderbal district and Pahalgam in Anantnag district stranded.

In view of the situation, Governor NN Vohra chaired an emergency meeting at Raj Bhawan on Saturday. The schools across the Valley were closed for a day in view of the inclement weather. 

While the water level at Sangam at 10 am this morning was 23.06 feet still above the critical mark the water has started receding there. At 9 am the water level there was 23.16 feet. 

The rains also triggered landslides and shooting stones at several places along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway yesterday, but timely action by the authorities concerned ensured that the 260-km all-weather road connecting the Valley with the rest of the country, remains open.

Officials said over 5,000 pilgrims from various parts of the country had reached Jammu to participate in the yatra.

Despite incessant rains, the pilgrimage to the 3,880 meter high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas commenced as per schedule on June 28 after several hours of delay. 

However, the pilgrimage faced frequent disruptions owing to continuous rainfall.

The 60-day Yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 26 coinciding with the 'Raksha Bandhan' festival. 

(With PTI inputs)