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  India   All India  08 Jun 2017  2,00,000 devotees register for Amarnath

2,00,000 devotees register for Amarnath

THE ASIAN AGE. | YUSUF JAMEEL
Published : Jun 8, 2017, 3:17 am IST
Updated : Jun 8, 2017, 3:17 am IST

Last year 220,000 devotees paid obeisance at Amarnath.

Jammu and Kashmir governor N.N. Vohra, who is also the chairman of the SASB, held a review meeting of the yatra with the concerned officials here on Monday.
 Jammu and Kashmir governor N.N. Vohra, who is also the chairman of the SASB, held a review meeting of the yatra with the concerned officials here on Monday.

Srinagar: With Amarnath yatra still being more than three weeks away, as many as 2,00,000 devotees have secured advance registration to be part of the annual pilgrimage deep inside Kashmir Himalayas.

Umang Narula, CEO of the Shri Amarnathji Shine Board, said that these pilgrims have secured registration through the designated bank branches, group registration facility and booking of helicopter tickets for the yatra.

The process started on March 1 through 437 designated bank branches of the Punjab National Bank, J&K Bank and YES Bank, located in 32 states and Union Territories across the country.

Jammu and Kashmir governor N.N. Vohra, who is also the chairman of the SASB, held a review meeting of the yatra with the concerned officials here on Monday.

“The ongoing trend of registration shows that about 1,200 persons are being registered every day with maximum numbers coming from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and West Bengal, in the same order,” he said. He added that it was also noted that the advance registration via the traditional Pahalgam route is slightly more preferred than the shorter Baltal route via Srinagar. “This conforms to the traditional pattern of the yatra,” he asserted.

Jammu and Kashmir governor N.N. Vohra, who is also the chairman of the SASB, held a review meeting of the yatra with the concerned officials here on Monday. The CEO of the board told the meeting that 143 groups have, so far, utilized the GRF which is being especially provided by the SASB. He also reported that with the reduced helicopter ticket fare for this year’s yatra, as compared to previous years, pilgrims in larger numbers have booked tickets in advance of the pilgrimage.

Per passenger one-way heli-fare for the Yatra 2017 is Rs. 1,715 (inclusive of all taxes) for Neelgrath-Panjtarni (Baltal route) and Rs. 2,950 (inclusive of all taxes) for Pahalgam-Panjtarni (Pahalgam route), the official said.

Narula once again urged the intending pilgrims to secure their advance registration only from the branches of the authorized banks and not from any other person(s) or agent(s) “who may try to cheat and sell fake Yatra Permits to them”.  The list of all authorized bank branches for providing advance registration for the yatra along with the authorized doctors and medical institutions competent to issue compulsory health certificates is available on the website of the SASB at  http://www.shriamarnathjishrine.com.

This year’s Amarnath yatra will be of 40 days duration and begin on June 29, coinciding the Skandshasthi which is an auspicious day as per Hindu calendar, and conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7.   The SASB will organise a special pooja ritual at Chandanwari, a base-camp of the yatra near Kashmir’s premier resort of Pahalgam, on the day of Jyesth  Purnima, which falls on June 9 this year, “to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva for the smooth and safe conduct of the pilgrimage”, the SASB officials said.

They also said that considering the carrying capacity of the existing tracks and other available infrastructure in the yatra area, 7,500 pilgrims, per day per each of the two routes (traditional Pahalgam and shorter Baltal), excluding the pilgrims who would fly to the shrine area by helicopters, would be allowed to register for the pilgrimage.

The authorities here said that “extraordinary” arrangement is being put in place to ensure smooth yatra during which three to four lakh devotees are expected to visit the  12,729 ft. (3,888 m) high cave-temple. The arrangement includes ‘foolproof’ security for the pilgrims and also the organisers and volunteers and as part of it additional 54 companies brought to the Valley for the Anantnag Lok Sabha by-poll which has since been rescinded in view of the hostile law and order situation and all-time low turnout recorded in the by-poll to the Srinagar seat will stay put till the completion of the yatra. The CRPF personnel apart from performing route duties will be deployed for area domination during the pilgrimage, the official sources said.  

Last year 220,000 devotees paid obeisance at Amarnath. This was the lowest number of pilgrims to have visited Amarnath since 2004 and the decrease in numbers was attributed to the post Burhan Wani killing unrest in the Valley and also because the naturally formed ice lingam of Lord Shiva at the cave-shrine completely melted in just first 13 days of the yatra owing to the rise in temperature. In 2015, as many as 352,000 pilgrims had visited Amarnath during the yatra period whereas in 2011 and 2012 the figure stood at 6.21 lakh and 6.30 lakh, respectively. After 2012, it started declining.

Tags: amarnath yatra, shri amarnathji shine board, kashmir himalayas
Location: India, Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar