The ongoing Amarnath yatra [ Images ] was suspended from Jammu on Saturday due to inclement weather and to control heavy rush of devotees thronging the 13,500 feet cave shrine in south Kashmir [ Images ] Himalayas.
"The yatra was stopped from Jammu in view of bad weather conditions and heavy rush of pilgrims at the cave shrine and enroute from Baltal and Pahalgam routes," a senior police official said.
He said, "No fresh batch of pilgrims was allowed to move towards Amarnath from Jammu base camp today."
Besides this, over 1,000 Amarnath-bound pilgrims were stopped at various places enroute Jammu-Srinagar national highway at Udhampur, Nagrota, Ramban and Patnitop areas and provided lodging facilities since Friday night. These steps have been taken in view of the heavy rush of pilgrims at cave shrine and also bad weather conditions prevailing in Baltal and Pahalgam routes to cave shrine since the last two days.
A total of 67,258 pilgrims offered prayers at the naturally formed ice-shivlingam at the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in the past three days since the commencement of the yatra on June 29.
The number of pilgrims could have crossed the 1-lakh mark but the inclement weather forced the authorities to suspend the yatra temporarily from the 13-km long Baltal route, the official said.
Light snowfall at the cave and incessant rains lashed the Baltal track during the night, rendering it slippery at many places. As a result, the yatra was suspended. Four batches of pilgrims have so far left from Jammu.