Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir), July 17, 2016 - Shri Amarnath Yatra has been affected this year because of unrest in Kashmir Valley. Yatra from traditional Pahalgam track resumed yesterday after a gap of almost a week. A number of Yatris who reached Pahalgam started the journey after the authorities decided to resume the Yatra.
All the pilgrims left for Holy Cave Shrine from Pahalgam and Nunwan base camp early morning. Some of them had reached Chandanwari while others were on their way till last reports came in.
An official spokesman said that till the 16th day of Shri Amarnathji Yatra, 4,510 Yatris paid obeisance at the Holy Cave. Till date 1,72,851 Yatris had darshan at the Holy Cave.
Sources said the ponywallas and tent people, who earn their livelihood from Yatra, had protested against the suspension of pilgrimage from Pahalgam despite it being the traditional track of Yatra having a religious sanctity and had demanded early resumption of pilgrimage from Pahalgam route too.
After remaining suspended for the two days on July 14 and 15 for second time in last one week, Shri Amarnath Yatra resumed yesterday from Jammu at Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas under tight security.
Reports also came in that hundreds of yatris after remaining stranded for days together returned back to their home states as they fell short of money and could not afford to remain stranded for more days.
Four buses of pilgrims from Maharashtra who were stranded at National Highway for three days near Udhampur returned to their home states with a heavy heart early yesterday morning without having darshan.
A spokesman said the weather at Pahalgam and Baltal was pleasant for the day although torrential rains lashed the Holy Cave Shrine area for about two hours this morning disrupting the movement of Yatra for some time.
Meanwhile, Holy Mace of Lord Shiva (Chhari Mubarak) will be taken from its abode Dashnami Akhara Srinagar to Pahalgam for special prayers on July 19, a tradition marking the formal beginning of annual Amarnath Yatra.
As per Hindu tradition, rituals like Bhoomi Poojan, Navgrah Poojan, Dhawajarohan connected with the commencement of annual Chhari Mubarak of Swami Amarnath Ji will be performed at Pahalgam across the river Lidder on auspicious occasion of Ashad Purnima falling on July 19.