The Jammu and Kashmir government has cancelled the annual Amarnath pilgrimage for the second year in a year, due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation, officials announced on June 21.
The decision to cancel the yatra is taken by an advisory committee in the Union Territory of J&K, chaired by the Lieutenant Governor.
An official spokesman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board said a discussion was held with the members including Swami Avdheshanand, DC Raina, Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Prof Anita Billawariya, Sudarshan Kumar, Prof. Vishwamurti Shashtri, Pt. Bhajan Sopori, Dr. C.M. Seth and Tripta Dhawan on the present Covid-19 situation before arriving on the decision, he said.
The pilgrimage was cancelled in 2020 as well due to the ongoing pandemic.
“Shri Amarnathji Yatra cancelled in wake of Covid-19 Pandemic. Decision after threadbare discussion with Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board members. Yatra to be symbolic only. However, all the traditional religious rituals shall be performed at the Holy Cave Shrine as per past practice,” tweeted the office of L&G Manoj Sinha.
“It’s important to save people’s lives. So, it is not advisable to hold and conduct this year’s pilgrimage in the larger public interest,” the office further said.
The 56-day yatra to the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine of Lord Shiva, located in the upper reaches of the Himalayas was supposed to start from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal on June 28 and culminate on August 22.