Amarnath Yatra has been canceled for this year due to COVID-19 concerns, sources told India TV. Earlier, the authorities had said that the yatra would begin July 21 onward and go on till August 3. However, the decision is now being rolled back.
The Amarnathji Shrine Board manages the affairs of the yatra to the cave shrine situated at 3,880 meters above the sea level in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district.
"Based upon the circumstances, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board decided that it is not advisable to hold and conduct this year’s Shri Amarnathji Yatra and expressed its regret to announce the cancellation of Yatra 2020, a statement from the Raj Bhavan read.
However, the Board will continue to live telecast/virtual darshan of morning & evening aarti. The traditional rituals shall be carried out as per past practice. Chhadi Mubarak shall be facilitated by the government.
According to the old plan, it was decided that the yatra would take place from one route only and all the pilgrims will have to go through a COVID-19 test. It was said that the temple authorities would telecast puja on television for devotees across the country.
Last week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the holy cave of Amarnath and offered prayers. He was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane, spent about an hour at the temple complex.
The Amarnath cave is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism and hundreds of thousands of devotees make an annual pilgrimage to it across challenging mountainous terrain.