JAMMU: The suspension of the Amarnath Yatra for a second consecutive day due to inclement weather across Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday forced pilgrims to remain at the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here, officials said.
According to the officials, fresh batches of pilgrims were not allowed to leave Jammu to embark on their yatra due to closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
A mudslide, triggered by heavy rain, hit the national highway near Ramban in the early hours, forcing the suspension of traffic, they said.
More than 80,000 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the holy cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas since the beginning of the yatra on July 1.
The yatra was suspended on Friday following widespread rain, particularly along the twin tracks — the traditional 48-kilometre Pahalgam route in Anantnag district and the 14-kilometre Baltal route in Ganderbal district.
“No fresh batch of yatris were allowed (to leave) from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp this morning in view of the suspension of the yatra in the Valley and the inclement weather,” a police official told PTI.
On Friday, a batch of 4,600 pilgrims was stopped at Chanderkote along the national highway in Ramban district to avoid crowding at the Pahalgam base camp after the yatra’s temporary suspension.
All the pilgrims are safe and sheltering at halting stations along the route, the officials said, adding that the yatra will resume after the weather improves.
The Met office has predicted widespread moderate to heavy rain, accompanied by thundershowers, under the influence of monsoon winds and western disturbances across Jammu and Kashmir till Sunday.
The 62-day annual pilgrimage to the 3,888-metre-high cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas commenced from the twin tracks of Pahalgam and Baltal on July 1. The yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 31.