Thursday, 22 August 2013

Amarnath Yatra 2013 ended

The nearly two-month-long annual Amarnath Yatra ended peacefully on Wednesday with the final prayer at the cave shrine in south Kashmir's Anantnag district.

Around 300 pilgrims and seers attended the season's final prayers inside the himalayan cave shrine of Amarnath on Wednesday.

The cave shrine is situated in Kashmir Himalayas at a height of around 13,000 feet above sea level.

Over 3.5 lakh pilgrims from different parts of the country performed this year's Amarnath Yatra. Last year, nearly six lakh devotees had performed the pilgrimage.

Fear among the devotees in the aftermath of Uttarakhand tragedy is believed to be responsible for the lesser number of pilgrims for the Amarnath Yatra this year.

The passage of Yatris was strictly regulated by the authorities this year following directions of the Supreme court. No unregistered pilgrim was allowed to undertake the Yatra this year.

Registered pilgrims were allowed to perform the Yatra only on the days scheduled in their registration.

The number of pilgrims proceeding to the cave shrine daily from Baltal and Nunwan base camps was also regulated. A maximum of 7,500 pilgrims was allowed each day from Baltal and Nunwan base camps towards the cave shrine.

Fourteen pilgrims died of natural causes during this year's yatra, which started on June 28 and ended on Aug 21 with Raksha Bandhan.

Traditionally state Governor N.N. Vohra, who is also the chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board(SASB) that manages the affairs of the Yatra, attended the puja at the cave shrine on the last day of the pilgrimage.