Amarnath Yatra suspended for the third consecutive day on Sunday. The pilgrimage was previously halted on Friday and Saturday.
The yatra was suspended along both the Baltal and the Pahalgam route officials said. “The yatra has been suspended and no pilgrim is being allowed to move towards the holy cave shrine this morning,” the officials said.
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Since the commencement of the yatra on July 1, 67566 devotees have paid their respects at the holy cave shrine nestled in the south Kashmir Himalayas. According to officials in Jammu, while a batch of 4,600 pilgrims on its way to the Pahalgam base camp have been stopped in Chanderkot, another group of 2,410 devotees travelling to the Baltal camp has been allowed to proceed.
On Thursday, 17,202 pilgrims paid obeisance at the holy cave shrine, taking the cumulative total of devotees who have had ‘darshan’ of the natural ice lingam formation in the south Kashmir Himalayas to 84,768 so far.
Reason for the suspension of yatra
“Traffic updates at 6:25 a.m. NH-44 Mughal Road and SSG Road are blocked due to 2 landlides. People are advised not to travel till clearance.” tweeted J&K Traffic Police.
In order to ensure the safety of the pilgrims, the authorities have decided to temporarily suspend the yatra until further notice. The unpredictable and inclement weather conditions have made it hazardous to continue the pilgrimage at this time.
“The yatra has been suspended due to inclement weather in the Pahalgam belt,” Sharma told PTI. Heavy showers, which started early on Friday, forced the temporary suspension of the pilgrimage, they added.
The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, spans over 250 kilometers and serves as the sole all-weather road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country. It was however closed on Saturday due to unfavorable weather. Consequently, numerous vehicles found themselves stranded in Udhampur, a town in Jammu.
Inconvenience due to closure of the NH-44
The closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway has also created challenges for travelers, with the highway being the primary route for transportation between Kashmir and the rest of the country. Efforts are underway to clear the stranded vehicles and reopen the highway for smooth traffic movement as soon as the weather conditions improve.