Srinagar, Aug 2: Pilgrimage to holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas was suspended on Friday from Baltal and Nunwan Pahalgam base camps as a precautionary measure following slippery tracks, official sources said.However, yatra by air from Baltal base camp to holy cave was going on as weather is pleasant. Yatra also remained suspended from Bhagwati Nagar, Jammu, base camp for the third day today. The authorities have announced suspension of the yatra from winter capital till August 4 following forecast for rain on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and tracks to holy cave by the Meteorological department. However, normal traffic movement on the highway, connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country was plying.
No yatri was allowed from Baltal and Pahalgam base camps to holy cave on Friday, a yatra official said. The track was slippery and yatra was suspended as a precautionary measure to prevent any accident, he said, adding that in Chandanwari , on traditional Pahalgam track, a glacier has been damaged. However, he said, helicopter service from Baltal base camp to holy cave was operating though from Pahalgam, it has been suspended.Over 3.42 lakh pilgrims have darshan at the cave shrine since the commencement of the annual pilgrimage from July 1.
The yatra will conclude on August 15. An official spokesman said that a report was received from India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting heavy rainfall for next few days all over Jammu and Kashmir, which may cause landslides and shooting stones on highway between Jammu and Srinagar, particularly in the stretch between Ramban and Banihal, which is highly vulnerable to landslides and shooting stone.
The track from Baltal and Pahalgam to holy cave has become slippery and slashy due to recent heavy rainfall and the situation is likely to aggravate in next couple of days in view of weather advisory issued by IMD. However, weather turned pleasant on Friday in the valley and traffic was plying on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. UNI