Amarnath yatra resumes from Pahalgam, remains suspended from Baltal

Jammu/Srinagar: After facing frequent disruptions due to inclement weather over the past four days, the Amarnath yatra resumed on Monday from Pahalgam base camp while it remained suspended from Baltal route, officials said. 

A fresh batch of 2,675 pilgrims, including 492 women and 174 seers, left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp Monday, after a day-long suspension following inclement weather, the officials said. 

They said the yatris, who also included three children, left the base camp in a convoy of 113 vehicles under tight security arrangements in the early hours after the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway was cleared for traffic. 

The highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, was closed for traffic on Sunday after heavy rains triggered a landslide at Kella Morh and rolling down of stones from hillocks at four more places including Panthiyal, Digdole, Anokhi fall and Maroog in Ramban district. 

The road was cleared of the debris and made traffic worthy late Sunday. 

With improvement in weather, the 26th batch of Amarnath pilgrims was allowed towards Kashmir and it is expected to reach the cave shrine later in the day, the officials said. 

Of the latest batch from Jammu, they said 1,544 pilgrims, including 207 women and 174 Sadhus, are heading for Pahalgam base camp for the yatra, while the rest of 1,131 pilgrims including 285 women and three children have preferred Baltal route. 

The 46-day yatra commenced from the twin tracks — traditional 36-km Pahalgam in Anantnag district and shorter 14-km Baltal route — on July 1 and is scheduled to end on August 15.

The officials said 1,136 pilgrims were allowed from Nunwan base camp along Pahalgam route towards the cave shrine on Monday morning, resuming the yatra from there.

However, the yatra along the shorter Baltal route continued to remain suspended for the third day as intermittent rains rendered the track unsafe for travellers, the officials said.

On Monday, 683 pilgrims — who had reached the cave shrine from various halting stations enroute — offered prayers at the 3,880 metre high cave till mid day, taking the total number of pilgrims who had ‘darshan’ of the naturally formed ice-shivlingam at the cave to 3,20,038, the officials said. 

They said the helicopter service, which too was suspended on Sunday due to bad weather, also resumed from both the routes on Monday.

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