Amarnath yatra may be curtailed to 30 days

Amarnath yatra may be curtailed to 30 days

Till July 22 evening, 2,36,157 yatris had paid obeisance at the holy cave shrine situated at a height of 3,880 metres.

Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), which manages the annual pilgrimage to south Kashmir Himalayas, on Monday said it considers curtailing the yatra period to a month as "over 90% pilgrims perform darshan during the first 30 days".

The SASB met on Sunday under the chairmanship of Governor N N Vohra, who is the chairman of the board, at Raj Bhavan here, where the deliberations were held.

"In a presentation made before the board, SABLO (Shri Amarnathji Barfani Langer Organization) stressed that the pilgrimage data for the past five years shows that more than 90% of the yatris perform darshan in the first 30 days. On this basis, SABLO argued that the period of the yatra should be limited to 30 days, citing various reasons," said a Raj Bhavan spokesman, in a statement.

"Taking note of SABLO's demand, the board observed that this important issue needs to be placed in the public domain and discussed further," he said.

This year, the 60-day-long yatra began simultaneously on Pahalgam and Baltal routes from June 28 and would conclude on Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan festivals on August 25.

Till July 22 evening, 2,36,157 yatris had paid obeisance at the holy cave shrine situated at a height of 3,880 metres.

Last year, 2.60 lakh pilgrims paid their obeisance at the shrine during 40-day-long yatra while 2.20 lakh yatries paid obeisance in 2016.

The number of pilgrims visiting the cave shrine has been falling drastically compared to the previous years. In 2012, over 6.30 lakh devotees visited the shrine.

The annual schedule of the yatra over the past 20 years has varied from 15 to 60 days and about 90% pilgrims are in a rush to complete it within the initial 25-30 days.

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