Amarnath Yatra cancelled due to Covid-19

Amarnath Yatra cancelled due to Covid-19


Amarnath Yatra cancelled due to Covid-19

The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), headed by Jammu & Kashmir LG Manoj Sinha, on Monday decided to keep the annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine “symbolic” in view of the Covid pandemic, with no physical darshan by the devotees.

However, all traditional religious rituals shall be performed as per practice, with the morning and evening aartis to be streamed online, allowing the devotees “virtual darshan” of the holy ice-lingam. 

“It is important to save people’s lives. So, it is not advisable to hold and conduct this year’s pilgrimage in the larger public interest. Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board is aware of and respect the sentiments of millions of devotees, and to keep the sentiments alive, the Board shall continue the live telecast of morning and evening aarti from the holy cave shrine,” Sinha said after chairing a threadbare discussion with other shrine Board members.

The LG who also held deliberations with J&K chief secretary Arun Kumar Mehta, DGP Dilbag Singh and other senior officers, directed that devotees should be enabled to attend to morning and evening aarti in online mode. He said it would help them to pay their obeisance while also avoiding travel and exposure.

The meeting was informed that the shrine Board has put in place a mechanism to enable live darshan of aarti at the holy cave

LG also stressed upon the need to follow Covid protocols on significant and pious days like Pratham Pooja and Samapan Pooja. He stressed that saints visiting the shrine cave to perform aarti as per “shastra” must follow Covid-appropriate behavior.

Amarnathji Shrine Board CEO, Nitishwar Kumar, said the shrine board has made the arrangements for the mace of Lord Shiva – Chhari Mubarak – to be taken to the holy cave on August 22, when the yatra shall conclude coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.

“Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board has been assessing the Covid situation in the Union Territory and the country. Our focus is on containing the pandemic and strengthening health infrastructure,” he observed.

Kumar said that both morning telecast of aarti at 6 AM and evening aarti at 5 PM, each for 30 minutes, is to be live-streamed on Shri Amarnath ji Shrine board official website and the app specifically dedicated for the devotees.

The devotees can pay their virtual obeisance to the Holy Ice Lingam online through the Shrine Board’s link or stream on the Shrine Board’s mobile based application that can be downloaded from Google Playstore.