Bad weather halts Amarnath Yatra

Srinagar, June 28 (IANS) Bad weather along both the north and south Kashmir routes of Baltal and Pahalgam on Thursday halted the Amarnath Yatra that officially started earlier in the day.

“It has been raining along both Baltal and Pahalgam treks to the Cave Shrine since early morning. Pilgrims camped at Baltal and Nunwan (Pahalgam) base camps have been advised not to proceed till the weather improves,” an official said.

“All the pilgrims are safe and a decision on allowing them to proceed further will be taken later,” he added.

Officially, the annual Amarnath Yatra began around 4 a.m. with the second batch of 3,425 pilgrims leaving Jammu for the two base camps in the Kashmir Valley.

“Pilgrims left in two groups: The first group of yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas at 3.55 a.m. in an escorted convoy for Baltal base camp and the other group left at 4.20 a.m. for Pahalgam base camp.

Thursday’s batch included 2,679 males, 592 females, three children and 151 Sadhus, the police said.

The 60-day long Amarnath Yatra will end on August 26, coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.

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