The nearly two-month-long annual Amarnath Yatra ended peacefully on Wednesday with the final prayer at the cave shrine in south Kashmir's Anantnag district.
Around 300 pilgrims and seers attended the season's final prayers inside the himalayan cave shrine of Amarnath on Wednesday.
The cave shrine is situated in Kashmir Himalayas at a height of around 13,000 feet above sea level.
Over 3.5 lakh pilgrims from different parts of the country performed this year's Amarnath Yatra. Last year, nearly six lakh devotees had performed the pilgrimage.
Fear among the devotees in the aftermath of Uttarakhand tragedy is believed to be responsible for the lesser number of pilgrims for the Amarnath Yatra this year.
The passage of Yatris was strictly regulated by the authorities this year following directions of the Supreme court. No unregistered pilgrim was allowed to undertake the Yatra this year.
Registered pilgrims were allowed to perform the Yatra only on the days scheduled in their registration.
The number of pilgrims proceeding to the cave shrine daily from Baltal and Nunwan base camps was also regulated. A maximum of 7,500 pilgrims was allowed each day from Baltal and Nunwan base camps towards the cave shrine.
Fourteen pilgrims died of natural causes during this year's yatra, which started on June 28 and ended on Aug 21 with Raksha Bandhan.
Traditionally state Governor N.N. Vohra, who is also the chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board(SASB) that manages the affairs of the Yatra, attended the puja at the cave shrine on the last day of the pilgrimage.
No pilgrim turned up for Amarnath yatra here on Monday, the last date for the passage of pilgrims from winter capital Jammu to the Kashmir Valley.
On Sunday, 19 pilgrims and 20 sadhus proceeded for the yatra to the valley.
Officials of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) that manages the affairs of the yatra confirmed that no pilgrim intending to use the 35- km long track would be allowed to proceed to the cave shrine from chandanwari yatra camp near Pahalgam towards the cave shrine after Monday morning.
However, pilgrims using the north Kashmir Baltal route and those intending to avail the helicopter services for the to and fro journey from the south Kashmir route would be allowed till Aug 21, the last day of the yatra.
Officials stated that no pilgrim would be allowed to proceed towards the cave shrine from Jammu after Monday.
This year the yatra started June 28 and over 23.5 lakh pilgrims have had 'darshan' of the ice lingam inside the cave.
The ongoing pilgrimage to the cave shrine of amarnath in south kashmir himalayas was on Tuesday suspended from Pahalgam and Baltal base camps as heavy rains lashed wide parts of the valley, officials said here. " Heavy rains rendered the twin tracks leading to the cave shrine from Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district unsafe, prompting the authorities to suspend the yatra around 1 pm" Several hundred pilgrims who had left for the cave shrine from the base camps of Nunwan along the 45 km traditional Pahalgam route and the shorter 16 km Baltal route have reached different camp sites and are safe. The pilgrims have been directed to stay back at the camps till further orders. The authorities are monitoring the weather at an hourly basis and a decision to resume the yatra will be taken once the rains stop and the tracks are safe for movement of the people, they added. The yatra commenced on June 28 and is scheduled to end on August 21.
Amarnath yatra is about to finish for this year. The pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine for amarnath, suspended following communal strife in Kishtwar, resumed from the Jammu base camp today while it was temporarily stopped from Pahalgam and Baltal camps in Kashmir owing to torrential rains.
The ongoing yatra was suspended from the Jammu base camp on August 10, a day after communal clashes erupted in Kishtwar that left three dead and scores injured.
Curfew was also imposed on several districts in Jammu region after the outbreak of communal violence.
Hopefully, amarnath yatra will be peaceful for last couple of days.