Heavy rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir stalled the first batch of Amarnath Yatra. Nearly 3000 pilgrims who reached twin base camps of Baltal and Pahalgam in Kashmir wait to begin journey by foot to reach 3,800 metre high cave shrine on Thursday.
The pilgrims have been halted at the Baltal base camps and will be allowed to proceed only after the weather gets clear. Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Dr Piyush Singhla said, they are in continuous touch with the Indian Metrological Department.
“Due to bad weather condition, we have not allowed the pilgrims to move further. We are closely monitoring the situation. Three to four kilometres of the roads from here are slides and are very vulnerable. There is no point clearing the path before the rain stops, so we are waiting for the same,” Singhla said.
“The journey has been halted due to heavy downpour. It will take 4-5 hours after the rain stops for them to clear the roads and then we will continue our journey,” said a pilgrim.
The annual Amarnath Yatra began today from both Baltal and Pahalgam routes in Jammu and Kashmir, amidst tight security. Continuous rain in the Baltal Sonamarg area in Ganderbal district and Nunwan Pahalgam area in Anantnag district has made the roads slippery and unsafe.
Nearly 3,000 pilgrims are part of the first batch of the Amarnath Yatra. The yatra will formally begin with the traditional Pratham Puja by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board Chairman and Governor NN Vohra at the holy cave.
The Yatra will culminate on Sawan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan on August 26.
(with agency inputs)