A control room has been set up by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) on Friday for intending pilgrims. SASB chief executive officer PK Tripathi said the helpline would function from 9.30am to 6pm on all weekdays from July 1 till the conclusion of the Yatra.
“Any person seeking information or assistance in regard to the forthcoming Yatra, which commences on July 2, can call 0194-2501679 or 0946922210 or send an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested pilgrims can also gather Yatra-related information through the Shrine Board’s website by logging on to www.shriamarnathjishrine.com and also send e-queries online through the website,” said the CEO.
Cautioning pilgrims against undertaking this ardous Yatra without securing a permit, Tripathi said, “To ensure effective security arrangements along the difficult tracks, only those yatris who are in possession of a yatra permit, which is valid for a specified date and route, will be allowed to proceed beyond the base camps and across the gates at Domel and Chandanwari.”
The CEO appealed to all intending pilgrims to early complete the necessary formalities for registration and timely obtain a permit. “Keeping in view the very tough nature of the trek, children below the age of 13 and elderly persons above the age of 75 will not be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage,” he added.
The CEO also asked pilgrims to come well prepared with adequate woolens as the journey involves climbing across high mountains, facing cold winds and the temperature can sometimes abruptly fall to 5 degrees Celsius or lower.
“For women pilgrims, a saree would not be a suitable dress for the yatra,” he said.
He also advised yatris to achieve a high level of physical fitness and start doing deep-breathing exercises and yoga for improving their oxygen efficiency. “Yatris are also advised not to use slippers because there are steep rises and falls on the route to the Holy Cave,” said the CEO.
The CEO urged the yatris to respect the environment throughout the pilgrimage from the base camp onwards, along the entire Yatra routes, and do nothing whatsoever which would cause pollution.