Governor Vohra leads first batch of pilgrims to Amarnath cave on day 1
After a delay of at least six hours due to a heavy downpour some 1400 pilgrims began the treacherous journey from the Baltal base camp towards the Amarnath cave in the afternoon. And late in the evening a thousand pilgrims had been to the cave to make the pilgrimage.
The government officials only allowed the pilgrims to begin the steep climb over the mountains in the afternoon when the rain had begun to taper off. A few thousands devotees had reached the Baltal base camp by Wednesday evening and were eagerly waiting to start the 14-kilometre long journey to the cave shrine on Thursday morning.
"The trek from Baltal to the cave shrine is 14 kilometers long and it was heavily raining since Wednesday evening , adding that the yatra was stopped as the track was slippery and there were apprehensions of shooting stones enroute" DC Ganderbal Dr Piyush Singhla told Greater Kashmir.
He said that the pilgrims began their journey on Thursday afternoon after the improvement in the weather and is going on smoothly. He said control rooms have been established in the Baltal base camp and the pilgrims will only be allowed to proceed towards the cave shrine after obtaining the latest weather update from the meteorological stations. The MeT had forecast rain and thundershowers in the valley for the next 48 hours till Saturday.
An official said that Governor NN Vohra on Thursday afternoon visited the cave shrine and participated in the first puja. The 60-day long Amarnath Yatra will end on August 26, coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.