Jammu, May 21 (ANI): The registration for the annual pilgrimage to the Hindu cave shrine of Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir commenced across the country on Wednesday.
The pilgrimage spread over two months is scheduled to begin on June 6.
At Jammu and several other places, the pilgrims were seen in long queues to register their names.
Jammu and Kashmir Bank has been authorised by the government to register the intending pilgrims.
Around 110 branches of the bank spread over the country will facilitate the registration of the pilgrims.
According to Madan Gupta, Vice President (Central Zone) of J and K Bank has said that facilities like mobile ATMs and banking facilities at the base camp are the latest additions this year.
"We are doing bookings up to 3,00,000 in this counter and through Internet up to 1,20,000 bookings. We request people to get their bookings done through Internet because it would be more convenient. For pilgrims, we have arranged mobile banking facilities at the base camp, which will remain for June 6 to August 5. ATM facility will be available round the clock. We would be providing the pilgrims with on-the-spot banking facilities at the base camp," Gupta added.
He further said that in Jammu, the bank has set up an extra counter at the Exhibition Ground for registration, which will remain open on week days from 3.p.m in the afternoon till 6.p.m. on weekdays and on Saturday from 1.p.m to 4.p.m. in the afternoon.
The registration will close on July 30.
"Every year we go on this pilgrimage. We pray to Lord Shiva for the pilgrimage journey to proceed smoothly this year unlike last year," said Rajkumar, a pilgrim.
The Amarnath pilgrimage will culminate on August 5, which according to Hindu almanac is the Shravana Purnima (full moon in the monsoon month of Shravana).
Every year a large number of devotees trek the steep, slippery 48-km route to reach the Amarnath cave shrine, which stands at a height of nearly 12,500 feet above sea level. (ANI)