The Amarnath pilgrimage the coming summer will be 11 days shorter than 2013 as a 44-day long annual yatra in South Kashmir Himalayas will begin on June 28 this year.
This was decided at the 26th meeting of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) held under the chairmanship of State Governor N N Vohra at New Delhi on Monday. The meeting was attended by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Justice (retired) G.D. Sharma, Pandit Bhajan Sopori, Vijay Dhar and Dr. (Prof.) Ved Kumari Ghai – all Board members, besides Navin K. Choudhary and Preet Pal Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Additional Chief Executive Officer of SASB respectively.
Pointing out that registration process for it will begin on March 1, an official spokesman said that the yatra will commence on an auspicious day falling on June 28 as per Hindu calendar and conclude on Raksha Bandan falling on August 10. To finalise the yatra schedule including its commencement and duration, the Board relied upon the approach set up by a sub committee headed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for the purpose in July 2011, he added.
Last year, the yatra’s duration was for 55 days, beginning June 28 and concluding on August 21.
The Board directed the CEO Navin K. Choudhary to arrange a special pooja on Jyesth Purnima falling on June 13 this year, if possible, at the holy cave or any other suitable location in the yatra area so as to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva for smooth and safe conduct of the pilgrimage.
Only registered 7,500 pilgrims each will be allowed to proceed daily to the cave shrine from both the Baltal and Chandanwari routes. This was decided by the SASB after deliberating in detail the number of pilgrims coming up for registration for the entire yatra period, spokesman pointed out, adding that it also reviewed the action plan especially healthcare and sanitation arrangements, besides measures to preserve environment.
The Board also asked the CEO to publicise at frequent intervals the registration procedure including compulsory requirement of prescribed health certificate from an authorized doctor/medical institute, dos and don’ts to be followed during the yatra and health advisories to prevent yatris from getting afflicted with serious illness. He was further directed to compile state wise lists of nominated doctors/institutes and upload the entire information on Board’s website – http://www.shriamarnathjishrine.com for information of all intending pilgrims.
The CEO informed that all the states and union territories have been asked to furnish a list of doctors/institutes issuing compulsory health certificates to intending pilgrims. Apart from this, he said that 2013 food menu revised by the designated expert committee will be applicable to all langar organizations as well as to all food stalls, shops or any other establishment who comes up in the yatra area to serve or sell food or beverages to the pilgrims and service providers during the pilgrimage period.