Srinagar, Jul 4: The annual pilgrimage was suspended on Wednesday to holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, where so far 54833 pilgrims had darshan of the self made Ice-Shivlingam till Tuesday evening.
Tracks have become slippery and there were landslides forcing authorities to suspend the pilgrimage from both shortest Baltal and traditional Pahalgam routes, official sources said.
They said cloudburst and heavy rain triggering landslides and flash flood during Tuesday and Wednesday night forcing suspension of yatra on the 7th day.
Three pilgrims were killed and as many injured in the landslides, they said adding since the track has become very slippery so it was decided to halt the yatra for the safety and security of the pilgrims. The track is particularly damaged between Brari Marg and Railpatheri, they said adding efforts are going on to restore it and resume yatra.
Similarly the pilgrims who were scheduled to return to base camp after having darshan at the cave shrine till last night have been stopped. The pilgrims will be allowed to start return journey once a green signal is received that track is safe for undertaking the foot journey.
Similalry, yatra on traditional Pahalgam track has also been suspended due to slippery hilly road conditions following fresh overnight rain.
However, some pilgrims left Nunwan Pahalgam base camp in vehicles for Chandanwari, the last motorable halting station on traditional route. However, no yatrai was allowed to leave the halting station on the route.
An official spokesman said 18467 pilgrims had paid obeisance on the 6th day of the 60-day-long pilgrimage to holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kahmir Himalayas on Tuesday.
He said with this a total of 54833 pilgrims, including women and sadhus, from different parts of the country had darshan of the self made Ice-Shivligam at the cave shrine since the commencement of the pilgrimage from both shortest Baltal and traditional Pahalgam tracks from June 28. However, the yatra was disrupted during the first three days due to landslides and slippery track due to rains when only 3500 had paid obeisance. However, during the subsequent days, heavy rush of yatris was recorded.
Sources said three pilgrims were killed and as many were injured in landslides and flashflood in Baltal base camp area early Wednesday morning. Two more pilgrims died due to cardiac arrest early this morning. During the first six days four pilgrims and a BSF officer have died during the pilgrimage.