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Amarnath pilgrimage resumes

After witnessing inclement weather for two days, the annual Amarnath pilgrimage resumed on Saturday with 12,000 pilgrims visiting the shrine by noon.

india Updated: Jul 09, 2011 18:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

After witnessing inclement weather for two days, the annual Amarnath pilgrimage resumed on Saturday with 12,000 pilgrims visiting the shrine by noon.

"The movement of yatris along both the routes to the holy cave shrine has been progressing satisfactorily since early this morning," said a government spokesman.

Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board chief executive officer RK Goyal visited the holy cave in the morning to review the arrangements for the pilgrims in view of the heavy rainfall during the past two days in the yatra area.

"The CEO interacted with the officials of all agencies concerned and reviewed the arrangements of sanitation, water and power supply, langar operations, medicare, queue management, etc," said the spokesman.

According to the spokesman, the weather forecast for the next five days predicts cloudy sky in the Kashmir division.

"It will remain generally cloudy on July 10-11 and partly cloudy from July 12 to 14 July," said the spokesman.

The authorities have advised all intending pilgrims to ascertain the up to date weather conditions before embarking on pilgrimage.

The CEO also directed pilgrims not to stop at places which are marked by warning notices, not to smoke or carry/consume any kind of narcotic or alcoholic substance, not to use slippers, as there are steep rises and falls on the route to the Holy Cave.

"Pilgrims must wear shoes with laces and not attempt any shortcuts on the route, as doing so would be dangerous, nor try to overtake others in difficult stretches of the track," said Goyal.

Goyal also urged pilgrims to wear warm clothes.

"The yatra traverses through high mountains, facing strong winds, the yatris need to carry adequate woolen clothing, a small umbrella, which covers the head with an elastic band around the forehead and supported by a strap around the chin, wind-cheater, raincoat, sleeping bag, waterproof shoes, torch, walking stick with a proper hand grip, cap (preferably a monkey cap), gloves, jacket, woolen socks and trousers," said Goyal.

These are essential, Goyal said, as the climate is unpredictable and changes abruptly from sunny weather to rain or snow and the temperature may sometimes abruptly fall to 5 degree Celsius or lower.

"For women, saree is not a suitable dress for the yatra. Salwar kameez, pant-shirt or a track-suit will be more comfortable," said Goyal.

The authorities also warned pilgrims on background check of labourers.

"Before hiring a pony, dandi or a labourer, the yatri must satisfy himself that the ponywalla, the labourer or the dandiwalla is duly registered and carries an identity card," said the spokesman.

"The yatris can do the hiring at rates fixed by the local administration at the camps at Baltal, Nunwan (Pahalgam), Panjtarni etc," said the spokesman.

The pilgrims, according to the spokesman, must take care to see that the porters and horses/ponies with their luggage move close to them as it may be difficult to trace them in case they get separated from each other.

The Yatris were also are advised to keep in their pockets a note containing the name, address and mobile telephone number of any other yatri proceeding for darshan on the same date and route as they are following.

"Pilgrims must carry identity card/driving license and the yatra permit issued by the shrine board," said the spokesman.

First Published: Jul 09, 2011 18:42 IST