The annual Amarnath pilgrimage, which resumed in the morning, was again halted on both the routes on Friday due to inclement weather.
“In view of the sudden change in weather conditions and weather advisory forecasting heavy rainfall along the entire Shri Amarnathji Yatra area later on Friday, the forward movement of the pilgrims from Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panjtarni towards the holy cave was stopped immediately around 12.30 pm,” said an official spokesman.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, R. K. Goyal, this decision has been taken to ensure the safety and security of the yatris. “The army, the air force and other agencies have been put on alert in view of the abrupt change in weather conditions and the expected heavy rains in the yatra area, to provide the required support to the pilgrims, in case of any emerging situation,” said Goyal.
The yatra was halted on Thursday afternoon too due to inclement weather but resumed in the morning today. The devotees have been advised to remain confined to their respective camps. “Those enroute must reach the nearest camp locations in view of the likely heavy rains to avoid any inconvenience to them,” said the official. Governor N. N. Vohra, who is chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, has directed half hourly monitoring of the situation in the yatra area. According to a weather advisory issued by the Meteorological Department for the Pahalgam route, the sky will remain generally cloudy with rain and thundershowers on July 8-9.
Isolated heavy rainfalls were also predicted from Jammu to Pahalgam and beyond up to the holy cave. “A similar weather conditions have been forecast for the Banihal-Srinagar-Baltal-holy Cave sector for tomorrow with the sky remaining generally cloudy with rain and thundershowers and isolated heavy falls,” said the spokesman.