SRINAGAR: The rush to the Amarnath yatra has stopped days ahead of its formal conclusion. No fresh pilgrim moved for the yatra from Jammu on Saturday, officials said.
Reports appearing in the media suggest that the pilgrims on way to the cave shrine or on their way down the hills are a few hundred as the rush has thawed.
The falling numbers could not improve even after Lt Governor Manoj Sinha made an appeal to the intending pilgrims to visit the cave shrine before August 5. He had said that the weatherman has predicted inclement weather conditions after that.
“I want to appeal to all Amarnath pilgrims that if they intend to visit the Holy cave, do it till the 5th of August because thereafter, there is a prediction of heavy rainfall in the area and pilgrims may likely not be able to visit the Holy Cave,” Sinha said.
Officials said that the falling number of pilgrims is because the ice-lingam has melted prematurely. This is not happening for the first time but is a routine occurrence. Sources said the Shivling had melted by the middle of July and by the end of last month, there was nothing much.
The 43-day pilgrimage started on June 30 and will be officially over on August 11, coinciding with the Rakhsha Bandhan. The yatra managers had anticipated a visit by eight lakh pilgrims this year and had made impressive security and lodging arrangements. However, the overall numbers have barely crossed three lakh.
The yatra witnessed a flash flood that killed 15 pilgrims on July 8.