The annual pilgrimage to the 3,880 metre high cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir Himalayas was temporarily suspended today following inclement weather, leaving thousands of yatries stranded.
The yatra was suspended on both the routes traditional 46 km Pahalgam in Anantnag district and shortest 16 km Baltal in Ganderbal district after heavy rains rendered the tracks unsafe, official sources said.
"No yatri was allowed to move from the base camps of Nunwan along Pahalgam route and Baltal this morning," the sources said.
However, the sources said over 2800 pilgrims who had reached near the cave shrine offered their prayers.
In addition, several thousand pilgrims are also camping at various halting stations along the twin routes and have been directed not to venture out unless the weather improves, the sources said.
The authorities are monitoring the situation at hourly basis and all the pilgrims are safe, they said.
The Amarnath pilgrimage commenced on July 1 and so far over 4.25 Lakh pilgrims have visited the cave shrine, which houses a naturally formed ice shivlingam.
Meanwhile, a fresh batch of 1,261 pilgrims left Jammu this morning amid tight security arrangements.
Comprising 703 men, 300 women, 14 children and 244 sadhus, the batch left from the base camp at c in a fleet of 35 vehicles around 0930 hours, police said.
Despite melting of the Ice Lingam of Lord Shiva on July 29 at Amarnath, pilgrims continue to throng the shrine.
The pilgrims were expected to reach their respective destinations of Baltal and Nunwan in Pahalgam base camps by the evening, they said, adding from these camps they will under take journey by foot to the shrine tomorrow, if weather permits.