Amarnath Yatra suspended due to blockade of Jammu-Srinagar highway

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Jammu, July 31 (IANS) Amarnath Yatra was suspended on Wednesday due to blockade of Jammu-Srinagar national highway as over 3.30 lakh pilgrims performed the Yatra during the last 30 days.

The police said due to blockade of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway no Yatri will be allowed to move towards the Valley today from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas.

Officials of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), that manages the affairs of the Hindu pilgrimage, said since it started on July 1 this year, 3,31,770 Yatris had Darshan at the Cave shrine during the last 30 days.

10,360 pilgrims paid obeisance at the Cave shrine yesterday.

SASB officials also said: “One critically sick Yatri Usha, age 60 years, belonging to Ganganagar, Rajasthan was evacuated by helicopter yesterday from Sheshnag to Srinagar on the direction of Governor, Satya Pal Malik. In all 16 critically sick Yatris have been air evacuated by the Shrine Board for immediate specialised treatment till date”.

Situated at a height of 3,888 metres above the sea-level in the Himalayan ranges in Kashmir, Amarnath cave houses an ice stalagmite structure that symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva according to the devotees.

The ice structure waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.

So far, 26 pilgrims have died during the yatra. In addition to this, two volunteers and two security men also lost their lives.

Yatra started on July 1 and will conclude on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.

–IANS

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