The annual Amarnath pilgrimage that commenced officially on Thursday morning has been temporarily suspended due to bad weather.
“It has been raining along both Baltal and Pahalgam treks to the cave shrine since Wednesday evening. Pilgrims camped at Baltal in Ganderbal district and Nunwan (Pahalgam) base camps have been advised not to proceed ahead till the weather improves,” said an official.
An official source said that the Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra could not reach cave shrine due to inclement weather.
Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Dr Piyush Singhla told that the yatra has been delayed in view of the rainfall which has made the track slippery, and there are apprehensions of minor slides along the Baltal track.He said that once weather improves the yatra will be allowed in the day.Meanwhile, pilgrims have been asked to stay in their camps as the weather deteriorated along the Baltal track.
Reports said that nearly 3000 Amarnath pilgrims have already reached Baltal base camp and were eagerly waiting to start journey towards the cave shrine for darshan.The Meteorological department has forecast rainfall with thunders in the state for next two days.
Officially, the annual Amarnath Yatra began around 4 a.m with the second batch of 3,425 pilgrims leaving Jammu for the two base camps in the Kashmir Valley.
“Pilgrims left in two groups: The first group of yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas at 3.55 a.m. in an escorted convoy for Baltal base camp and the other group left at 4.20 a.m. for Pahalgam base camp.
Thursday’s batch included 2,679 males, 592 females, three children and 151 Sadhus, the police said.