New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath has been temporarily suspended in wake of the country reeling under the unprecedented second wave of coronavirus, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) announced on Thursday, adding that a decision of reopening will be taken if the situation improves.

"In view of evolving COVID19 situation, registration for Amarnath Yatra is being temporarily suspended. The situation is being constantly monitored and it would be reopened once the situation improves," the SASB said an official statement. 

The 56-day yatra to the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine of Amarnath in the South Kashmir Himalayas was scheduled to start from the two routes on June 28 and culminate on August 22. The online registration for the annual Amarnath Yatra through Baltal and Chandanwari routes had already begun on April 15.

The yatra was restricted to a group of sadhus last year in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the yatra was called off mid-way due to a "terror threat" on August 2, three days before the Centre revoked provisions of Article 370 and divided the state into two union territories.

This year's yatra, which stands suspended as of now, is scheduled to be held amid strict COVID-19 protocols stated by the central government. Those below the age of 13 and above the age of 75 will not be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage.

Those registering for the holy pilgrimage will have to mandatorily present health certificates that are issued by doctors or medical institutes authorised by state governments or union territory administrations at the registered bank branches.

The live telecast for virtual 'Darshan' will be enabled for those who are unable to undertake the Yatra. The pilgrims can download the 'Shri Amarnathji Yatra' App available on the Google play store to get real-time information about the Yatra and for availing several services online.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta