A heavy downpour forced authorities to allow a small batch of 856 yatris from here to move towards base camps in the Valley on Friday. Reportedly, the step ws taken to avoid overcrowding at the base camps.< /p >
A Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) spokesman said the pilgrims were allowed to head for the cave shrine only around noon from both the Pahalgam and the Baltal routes because of bad weather.
A total of 2,995 devotees were slated to take the pilgrimage on the first day, but all could not embark on the trek.
<>pReports from the two base camps in Baltal and Pahalgam indicate that it has been raining all along the two treks leading to the Cave Shrine since early on Friday.
“No pilgrim was allowed to move towards the Cave Shrine because of rain and slippery conditions along the two treks,” an official said.
“A third batch of 856 yatris left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas at 6.25 a.m. in an escorted convoy of 29 vehicles,” police said.
The Jammu-Srinagar highway in the Ramban district that pilgrim convoys use to reach the valley was blocked on Thursday for several hours. Heavy rains on Friday again slowed down the traffic.
This year’s Amarnath Yatra started on Thursday as 1,007 pilgrims prayed inside the cave shrine.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N.Vohra also joined the ‘Pratham Puja’ at the holy cave. The 60-day long Yatra will end on August 26 coinciding with Shravan Purnima festival.>