The long-awaited Amarnath Yatra started on July 1, 2019, with thousands of believers defying the tough climate and difficult struggle that is mandatory to trek all the way to the high mountain shrine. Though, within eight days of the start of the pilgrimage, more than 1 lakh pilgrims have completed Amarnath Yatra. On Tuesday alone, 5964 travelers departed from Jammu for the base point in Kashmir valley.
According to the news reports, about 1,11,699 travellers have been to the holy cave shrine. The yatra will finish on August 15, 2019, which happens to be the Indian Independence Day, Shravan Poornima (full moon) and Raksha Bandhan.
Apparently, the yatra was briefly stuck on Monday because of the local law and order situation. Nevertheless, the journey from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas resumed on Tuesday in two escorted vehicles of armed troops.
There are two routes to reach the Amarnath Cave shrine–one, through Baltal base camp, which consist of the 14 km-long uphill trek; and second, from the old Pahalgam base camp, which consist of a 43 km-long uphill trek. Both the base camps offer helicopter services for the pilgrims.
The shrine of Amarnath, Hindu god Shiva, is situated at a height of about 13,500 ft above the sea level. The stalagmite structure of ice in the form of shiva lingam is supposed to contain the powers of Shiva, believed to be the lord of all living beings.
Due to the problems faced by the local people on the restriction put on the movement of civilian traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the concerned authorities have reduced the limit to only two hours every day.
The curbs are put for the protection of the pilgrims, bound for the holy cave shrine. Interestingly, there have been countless instances when the local Muslim porters have given a very generous helping hand to travellers to ease the darshan. So much so, the shrine remained unknown to individuals until the year 1,850, when a Muslim shepherd named Buta Malik discovered it.