Jammu Tawi, April 24
Advising women pilgrims not to wear saree, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) said salwar kameez, pant-shirt or a track suit are suitable dresses for undertaking the annual Amarnath pilgrims. The pilgrims will start from June 29 and culminate on August 7, Rakshbandan from both traditional Pahalgam and shortest Baltal tracks. However, women who are more than 6 week pregnant shall not be allowed to undertake the pilgrimage. Besides children below 13 years in age and elderly persons above the age of 75 years shall also not be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage. Officials of the SASB said the intended pilgrims are advised to carry sufficient woolen clothing as the temperature may sometimes abruptly fall to below 5 degree Celsius on yatra tracks besides at Holy cave shrine situated at 13000 feet.
For the safety of pilgrims they are advised not to stop at places which are marked by warning notices. Walk only on the tracks, don’t walk barefoot or be without woolen clothing at any time as the temperature in the Yatra area remains low and changes abruptly, don’t use slippers because there are steep rises and falls on the route to the Holy Cave. Only wear trekking shoes with laces. Do carry umbrella, wind cheater, raincoat, and waterproof shoes as the weather in the Yatra area is unpredictable besides keep your clothes and eatables in a suitable water proof bag to avoid your belongings getting wet during the yatra. The pilgrims are also advised to keep in your pocket a note containing the name, address, mobile telephone number of any Yatri proceeding for Darshan on the same date as you are doing, for emergency purposes. Besides carry your identity card, driving license and Yatra permit with you. The SASB said that pilgrims must travel in a group, with porters, horses amd ponies carrying your luggage and ensure that all those comprising the group remain in your sight, lest you are separated from your group. However, in case of any emergency seek immediate assistance of the Police in case any member of your group is missing. Also have an announcement made on the Public Address System at the Yatra Camp. In case of any accident or emergent situation, immediately contact the nearest Camp Director, Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) deployed at various locations. The SASB warned that no un-registered pilgrim will be allowed to undertake the pilgrimage. The gates of Access Control at Domel on shortest Baltal track and Chandanwari on traditional Pahalgam route will open at 0500 hrs in the morning and close at 1100 hrs and no Yatri shall be allowed to undertake pilgrimage after the closure of the Gates. Besides free food facility is available in the entire Yatra area at the Langars which will be set up at all halting station, the piligrims can purchase pre-activated SIM Cards at the Base Camps of Baltal and Nunwan as SIM cards of other states will not work here. The SASB stressed the need to respect environment and do nothing whatsoever to pollute the yatra area since earth, water, air, fire and sky are integral parts of Lord Shiva. Short cuts on the route was dangerous and donot start journey on an empty stomach. If you do so, you may attract a serious medical problem. The SASB warned pilgrims not stay at Holy Cave overnight in view of high altitude and harsh and unpredictable weather conditions. Do not leave Panjtarni Camp towards Holy Cave after 1500 hrs as no darshan is allowed at Holy Cave after 1800 hrs, the SASB officials said.