Amarnath Yatra suspended on both routes due to heavy rains

PTI

Ganderbal: First batch of Amarnath pilgrims arrive at the base camp at Baltal, in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir on Thursday, June 28, 2018. The annual two-month Amarnath Yatra to commence on Thursday was halted dur to bad weather and heavy rainfall. (PTI Photo)

File Photo: Ganderbal- First batch of Amarnath pilgrims arrive at the base camp at Baltal, in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir on Thursday, June 28, 2018. The annual two-month Amarnath Yatra to commence on Thursday was halted dur to bad weather and heavy rainfall. (PTI Photo)

The Amarnath Yatra was suspended on both Pahalgam and Baltal routes on Saturday due to inclement weather, officials said.

The yatra has been suspended on both the routes as the tracks are slippery because of rain, a spokesperson of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) said.

While no pilgrim is allowed to proceed towards the cave shrine on foot, some yatris are using the helicopter services to undertake the pilgrimage, he added.

A flood alert was 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.

Jammu: Sadhus wait in a queue to get themselves registered for Amarnath Yatra at a base camp, in Jammu on Saturday, June 30, 2018. The yatra has been suspended due to bad weather conditions. (PTI Photo)

Jammu: Sadhus wait in a queue to get themselves registered for Amarnath Yatra at a base camp, in Jammu on Saturday, June 30, 2018. The yatra has been suspended due to bad weather conditions. (PTI Photo)

The rains also triggered landslides and shooting stones at several places along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on June 29, 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 metre 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.

(PTI)