Jammu, July 13, 2019-
The Amarnath Yatra was suspended on Saturday with no pilgrim allowed to move towards the Kashmir Valley from Jammu due to a separatist-called protest shutdown, police said.
“Taking stock of the law and order situation because the protest shutdown called by the separatists today, movement of the pilgrims from Jammu to Srinagar will remain suspended today,” police sources said.
July 13 is observed as Martyrs Day in Jammu and Kashmir to remember those killed in the firing outside the Srinagar Central Jail by forces of the Dogra Maharaja in 1931.
The state government observes the day to honour those who fought for Independence in 1947.
Since the annual pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine started on July 1, over 1.50 lakh pilgrims have performed the ongoing Amarnath Yatra so far.
The cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that symbolises the mythical powers of Lord Shiva, according to the devotees.
The structure waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.
Pilgrims approach the shrine either from the shorter 14 km-long Baltal trek or through the longer 45 km Pahalgam trek.
Helicopter services are also available for pilgrims at both base camps.
The Cave shrine was discovered in 1850 by a Muslim Shepherd, Buta Malik.
Legend says a Sufi saint rewarded the shepherd with a bag of charcoal that turned out to be gold.
Descendants of the shepherd have received a portion of the offerings from the cave shrine for over 150 years.
This year’s Amarnath Yatra will end on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival. (Agency)