Since the annual Amarnath Yatra commenced on July 1, more than 1 lakh devotees have performed the pilgrimage so far as of Tuesday, officials said.
According to the officials, over 24,000 yatris had ‘Darshan’ on Monday after pilgrims from the two base camps were allowed to move towards the cave shrine as the weather improved in the Kashmir Valley.
The movement of yatris was halted for three days due to the closure of Jammu-Srinagar highway as a result of inclement weather.
Officials said the highway will remain closed for traffic on Tuesday as well.
Efforts are on to restore the highway after a portion of the road caved in due to heavy rain in Panthyal stretch.
Yatris reach the Himalayan cave shrine either from the traditional South Kashmir route, which involves an uphill trek of 43 km from the Pahalgam base camp or from the North Kashmir Baltal base camp which involves a 13 km trek.
Those using the Pahalgam route take three to four days to reach the cave shrine, while the ones who choose the Baltal route return to the base camp on the same day after having ‘Darshan’ inside the cave shrine situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level.
Helicopter services are also available for yatris on both the routes.
The cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that devotees believe symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.
The ice stalagmite structure wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon.
This year’s 62-day long Amarnath Yatra will end on August 31 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.
To protect the pilgrims from high altitude sickness, authorities have banned all junk food. Free community kitchens called ‘Langars’ those have been set up along both the routes.
The banned items include all bottled drinks, Halwai items, fried food and tobacco-based products.