Jammu, June 29 (IANS) Heavy rains slowed down the progress of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims as authorities allowed only a small batch of 856 yatris from here to move towards the valley on Friday to avoid overcrowding at the base camps.
Reports 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.