Amarnath Yatra from Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir was today suspended due to heavy rain and landslide on National Highway, according to ANI report. It comes a day after the annual yatra began and over 6,000 paid obeisance holy shrine of Amarnath, as per PTI report. The yatra from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal was suspended, it says. Earlier intelligency reports revelaed that terrorists were planning to target 100 policemen and pilgrims, according to PTI. An official of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) said that the yatra has been suspended temporarily in view of the rains that lashed the twin routes early in the morning. He said the rains have rendered the tracks slippery at some places.
The official said that the pilgrims headed for base camps at Baltal and Nunwan are requested to check the status of the yatra with the control room or helpline set up by the SASB before starting off.
On the first day, man was killed by a shooting stone en route the cave shrine raising the toll to two. The second batch of 2,481 pilgrims, comprising 1,638 males, 663 females and 180 sages, left from Jammu in 66 vehicles for the twin base camps of the yatra. A police officer said the pilgrims are being escorted by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.
“The pilgrimage began early this morning under overcast conditions from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal. As many as 6,097 pilgrims performed ‘darshan’ of the naturally formed ice-lingam at the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine on the first day,” an official spokesman said yesterday.
This year, the Amarnath yatra will be eight days shorter than last year’s 48 days and will conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7.
Watch this video
Intermittent rains lashed wide parts of Kashmir including the yatra route since yesterday, resulting in considerable drop in day and night temperatures.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, who is also the chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) – which manages the affairs of the yatra – was among the first to reach the cave shrine.