Amarnath Yatra 2018
An aerial view of route for pilgrims during Amarnath Yatra 2018

SRINAGAR — Managing body of Amarnath Yatra affairs, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) on Saturday stated that the annual Yatra will be of 15 days and commence from July 21 to August 03 this year.

Officials of SASB said that the “Pratham Puj” for the Yatra was held on Friday during which it was decided to curtail the duration of Yatra in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

“Except for Sadhus, pilgrims with age of below 55 years only be allowed after possessing COVID-19 negative certificates,” officials said.

SASB officials said that the pilgrims will be cross-checked for the virus before they are allowed to undertake the Yatra on entry into Jammu and Kashmir.

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“All pilgrims will be surely cross-checked for the COVID-19 virus before they enter into Jammu and Kashmir for Yatra purpose,” officials said.

All the pilgrims will have to register themselves online for the Yatra except the Sadhus. It has also been decided that the “Aarti” performed at the cave shrine in morning and evening during Yatra days will be telecasted live for devotees across the country.

Officials added that because of non-availability of local laborers and the difficulties in maintaining the track from the base camp to the cave, Yatra-2020 will be performed by using helicopters from Baltal camp in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district to the cave shrine.

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SASB clarified that Yatra-2020 will only be undertaken through north Kashmir Baltal route. “No pilgrim is allowed to undertake the Yatra-2020 through Pahalgam route,” they added.

“Yatra-2020 will conclude on August 03, 2020 on Shravan Purnima which coincides with the Raksha Bandhan fiesta.

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