Over 66,000 yatris visit Amarnath

Over 66,000 yatris visit Amarnath

More than 66,000 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the Amarnath cave shrine in the Himalayas in south Kashmir since the annual pilgrimage began on June 28.

Of the 66,000 pilgrims, 64,993 visited the shrine till Tuesday evening and 1,500 on Wednesday morning, officials said.

 The yatra is going on smoothly from both traditional Pahalgam and the shortest Baltal routes, they said.

“More than 66,000 pilgrims have had darshan of the Ice-shivlingam in the cave shrine since the commencement of the 55-day pilgrimage,” officials added. However, sources said the authorities are facing serious challenges from hundreds of unregistered pilgrims who are arriving everyday.

 The yatra started on a low note because of the implementation of the Supreme Court directions.

The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) is allowing only registered and fit pilgrims to embark on the treacherous trek of 14 km from Sonamarg, 110 km north-east of Srinagar and 42 km trek from Chandanwari, 100 km south of Srinagar’s Pahalgam.

According to new guidelines issued by the SASB for the security of the pilgrims, nobody above 75 and below 13 years are allowed for the yatra. Similarly, only pilgrims who are registered for the day will be allowed and unscheduled pilgrims are returned. About 12,000 unregistered and unscheduled pilgrims were returned on day one.

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