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Amarnath yatra: Pahalgam route will open on July 9

July 04, 2005 15:15 IST

The traditional Pahalgam route for the annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in Kashmir will open on July 9, an official of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board said in Srinagar on Monday.

The yatra from the Pahalgam route for registered pilgrims will begin on July 9, instead of July 6 due to inclement weather conditions.

"We conducted an aerial survey of the route up to the cave on Sunday and found that it was ready for the pilgrimage," Chief Executive Officer of SASB Arun Kumar told reporters in Srinagar.

He said lack of adequate infrastructure along the route to the shrine and fresh snowfall in the area had compounded problems.

There are several stretches of glaciers, totalling around 5.5 km of the 46-km trek between Pahalgam base camp to the cave shrine, he said.

The SASB has asked the Jammu and Kashmir Bank to begin registration of pilgrims from July 9.

Kumar said six helicopters -- four run by SASB and two by the state government -- were ferrying at least 200 pilgrims from Srinagar and Baltal to the cave shrine daily for a darshan of the naturally-formed ice lingam inside the cave, situated at an altitude of 3,880 mt.

The state administration was providing electricity and water supply and steps have been taken to ensure conservation of the environment with use of pre-fabricated huts and bathrooms at several places including the cave shrine, Kumar said.


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