No Amarnath Yatra this year due to coronavirus pandemic; 'Aarti' to be broadcast live
New Delhi, July 21: The annual pilgrimage of the holy Amarnath Yatra 2020 to south Kashmir's Himalayan cave has been cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The 42-day-long yatra had already been decided to be cut short to 15 days with pilgrims travelling only from Batal route.
The 42-day yatra was scheduled to commence from the twin tracks of Pahalgam in Anantnag and Baltal in Ganderbal on June 23 but was delayed due to the outbreak of the pandemic.
''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,'' said the statement issued by Raj Bhavan, Government of Jammu & Kashmir.
''To keep the religious sentiments alive, Board shall continue 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,'' the statement read.
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.
Days ago, the Supreme Court had quashed a plea seeking direction to the Centre, Jammu and Kashmir administration and SASB to suspend this year's Amarnath Yatra in view of COVID-19.
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.