Amarnath yatra suspended from Jammu for 3 days

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Aug 21:  As the yatra rush has considerably decreased, the Swami Amarnath Ji yatra was suspended from Jammu today and it will also remain suspended for August 22 and 23.
This was stated by an officer on yatra duty. He said as the two -month long yatra to holy cave situated at an altitude of 3880 metres in deep Himalayas in South Kashmir district of Anantnag will culminate on Shravan Purnima falling on August 26, only two batches of yatra will proceed to holy cave from Jammu on August 24 and 25.
He said August 25 will be the last batch for darshan which will leave from here.
Yesterday, the smallest batch of 43 pilgrims left the Yatri Niwas Jammu for Kashmir to undertake the annual yatra to holy cave shrine of Swami Amarnath Ji.
“No devotee arrived for the pilgrimage and accordingly it was decided to suspend the yatra from here for the time being,” the officials said, adding in case the pilgrims again arrive at the base camp for the yatra, it will be resumed to facilitate them to pay obeisance at the shrine before the conclusion of the pilgrimage on August 26.
The 60-day pilgrimage commenced from the twin routes of Baltal and Pahalgam on June 28 but over the past fortnight, the arrival of devotees recorded a sharp decline.
Till last evening, as many as 2,83,140 pilgrims had visited the cave shrine since the commencement of the yatra which entered into the final phase yesterday with the joining of the “Chhari Mubarak” (saffron robed holy mace of Lord Shiva).
The holy mace was taken from its abode in Srinagar to Pahalgam by a group of Sadhus yesterday and after two night halts at Pahalgam, the onward journey will start tomorrow.
Meanwhile, 381 pilgrims paid obeisance to Ice Lingam in the holy cave on the 55th day of darshan today from twin tracks of Baltal and Chandanwari, the officer said. He said till date 2,83,521 pilgrims have performed darshan at the cave shrine.
He said 152 pilgrims left from Baltal to holy cave early this morning while 67 left by chopper. The weather enroute to holy cave was cloudy during the day but the yatra proceeded smoothly. Moreover, the yatris staying for night halt at transit camps of Sheshnag and Panjtarni also left for their onwards sojourn in the morning.