Amarnath yatra to be temporarily suspended from August 23 for track restoration works | India News – Times of India

JAMMU: The annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas will remain temporarily suspended from August 23 in view of reduced pilgrim flow and track restoration works, an official spokesman said on Sunday.
However, the Chari Mubarak, the holy mace of Lord Shiva, shall proceed via the traditional Pahalgam route marking the culmination of the yatra on August 31, the spokesman said.
Over 4.4 lakh pilgrims have so far paid obeisance at the shrine since the commencement of the 62-day yatra from the twin tracks – traditional 48-km Pahalgam track in Anantnag district and shorter 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district – on July 1.
Quoting Shrine Board authorities, the spokesman said, “Due to considerable reduction in the flow of pilgrims and the urgent repairs and maintenance of the yatra tracks at vulnerable stretches being undertaken by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), movement of pilgrims on both the tracks leading to the holy cave is not advisable”.
“Hence, the yatra shall remain temporarily suspended from both routes with effect from August 23. Chari Mubarak shall proceed via the traditional Pahalgam route marking the culmination of yatra on August 31,” the spokesman said.
The pilgrim movement started to decline from July 23 with the melting of the naturally formed ice Shiv Lingam at the shrine.
A fresh batch of 362 pilgrims, meanwhile, left in a convoy of 11 vehicles from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here on Sunday to join the yatra.
All the 362 pilgrims are heading for the Baltal base camp to undertake the yatra, they said.

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