Amarnath Yatra will begin from July 21, 2020 and continue till August 3. This year, the Amarnath Yatra will only be held for two weeks due to the outbreak of coronavirus, stated officials at the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) that manages the affairs of the yatra to the cave shrine situated at 3,880 metres above the sea level in J&K's Anantnag district.
The yatra will take place from one route only and all the pilgrims will have to go through COVID-19 test. Moreover, this year, the temple authorities will telecast puja on television for devotees across the country as many of them would not be able to undertake the holy trail amid COVID-19 situation.
Earlier, the 'Pratham Puja' of the yatra was held on Friday. The duration of the yatra has been cut short this time because of the coronavirus pandemic. Except for the Sadhus, only pilgrims below 55 years of age will be allowed.
Pilgrims must carry COVID-19 negative certificates, to be cross-checked again
All those undertaking the Yatra must possess COVID-19 negative certificates. Also "the pilgrims will be cross-checked for the virus before they are allowed to undertake the Yatra on entry into J&K", an official of the SASB said.
All the pilgrims will have to register themselves online for the Yatra except the Sadhus.
Amarnath aarti to be telecasted LIVE everyday
It has also be decided that the 'Aarti' performed at the cave shrine in morning and evening during the 15 days will be telecast live for devotees across the country.
Officials said because of the non-availability of local labourers and the difficulties in maintaining the track from the base camp to the cave shrine, Yatra 2020 will be performed by using helicopters from Baltal base camp in Ganderbal district to the cave shrine.
Yatra only through Kashmir Baltal route
Yatra 2020 will only be undertaken through the north Kashmir Baltal route. "No pilgrim will be allowed to undertake this year's Yatra through the Pahalgam route", officials said.
Yatra 2020 will conclude on August 3 on Shravan Purnima which coincides with the Raksha Bandhan festival.