Jammu : The ongoing annual Hindu pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in the Kashmir Himalayas will be allowed through the traditional route from Pahalgam tourist resort from Friday, officials said Thursday.
The Amarnath pilgrimage began June 16 from north Kashmir town of Baltal, the shorter and steeper route to the high-altitude temple located at the altitude of 13,500 feet. However, the traditional south Kashmir route from Pahalgam via Sheshnag and Mahagunus to the holy cave was blocked due to heavy snowfall.
An official spokesman of the temple board said only physically fit pilgrims with all necessary woollen clothings would be allowed to travel along the traditional route, which involves a trek of 46 km from Pahalgam, 100 km from Srinagar.
Thousands of Hindu devotees every year visit the cave shrine, which houses the naturally created ice stalagmite, reverentially called Shivalingam, an icon of Lord Shiva.
Many pilgrims believe that the pilgrimage to the shrine is “successful” only through the traditional route.
Vidya Sagar from Amritsar, who has been camping here for the past five days, was overjoyed to hear that the pilgrims would be able to trek on this route from Friday.
“Bhole Shanker (Lord Shiva) has answered my prayers,” he said.
The pilgrimage will conclude August 5.