About 800 pilgrims today paid obeisance at the 3,880-metre high cave of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas as heavy rains rendered the twin routes leading to the shrine slippery, forcing authorities to suspend the yatra for the time being.
“On the 26th day of annual yatra, 791 pilgrims paid obeisance at the holy cave, raising the number of pilgrims who visited the cave shrine since the commencement of the yatra to 2,08,633,” an official spokesman said.
Heavy rains lashed wide parts of Kashmir Valley since wee hours, prompting authorities to suspend the yatra this morning, officials said, adding this was the result for the lowest number of pilgrims performing ‘darshan’ of the naturally formed ice-shivlingam at the cave in a day after the yatra began on July 2 from the twin routes - 12-km shorter Baltal route in Ganderbal district and traditional 42-km Pahalgam route in Anantnag district.
A fresh batch of pilgrims were allowed to move towards the cave shrine from Baltal base camp this morning but were stopped at Sangam around 9.30 AM after the rains rendered the tracks slippery, the officials said.
They said all the pilgrims, who had reached different halting stations enroute to the cave, are safe and have been directed to stay back at the designated camps till further orders.
The authorities are monitoring the weather on hourly basis and once the weather improves, the yatra will be resumed, the officials said.