As per the reports, due to coronavirus pandemic, the highly sacred Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir has been cut down to only 15 days for the year. Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), which manages the Yatra to the Himalaya cave shrine, had made the said announcement.
Amarnath Yatra duration:
The yatra in 2020 will start on 21st July and finish on 3rd August. The Pratham Puja, which marks the reopening of the shrine after a sabbatical, was performed on Friday in the presence of several people.
• Pilgrims below 55 years of age will be allowed to take the yatra
• It is mandatory to have authorized and valid COVID-19 negative certificates to get approval for this yatra.
• Thermal screening of the pilgrims will be done before they are allowed to enter the J&K border.
Online registration and live telecast of aarti:
The pilgrims (except sadhus) who want to take this yatra will have to register themselves online. The shrine board officials have decided to do the live telecast of the aarti performed at the cave shrine for the entire duration of 15 days.
The route for this year has been changed. Instead of the route via Pahalgam, the pilgrims will travel through the Baltal route of North Kashmir.
Pilgrims can fly by helicopters from Baltal base camp in Ganderbal district to the main cave of Baba Amarnath. The reason behind this development is the absence of local laborers and the hard task of keeping the track from the base camp to the cave.
Don’ts at the yatra:
• Don’t stop at places marked by warning notices.
• Don’t take any short cuts on the route as doing so would be dangerous.
• Use of plastics is strictly banned in the State and is punishable under law.
• Wear shoes instead of slippers