New Delhi: The Amarnath Yatra was suspended on Wednesday till August 4 in view of the inclement weather conditions predicted by the Weather Department. “In view of inclement weather conditions, shooting of stones and landslides particularly in Jammu region, the yatra will remain suspended till August 4, 2019,” said Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) spokesperson on Wednesday.

The IMD has predicted heavy rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir over the next few days, which is likely to cause landslides and shooting of stones on the national highway, particularly in the stretch between Ramban and Banihal. Notably, the tracks between Baltal and Pahalgam has already become slippery due to the recent downpour in the region, noted the SASB spokesperson.

The situation is likely to aggravate in the next few days as per the weather advisory issued by IMD. Thus, officials stated that the yatra was suspended as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident. The 46-day annual yatra which began on July 1 was scheduled to end on August 15.

According to officials, a fresh batch of 1,175 pilgrims on Tuesday left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp to pay obeisance at the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas. Of the total number of pilgrims, 252 were women, two were children and 95 were seers. The pilgrims had left for the valley in a convoy of 47 vehicles under tight security in the early hours of Tuesday, said officials. With this batch, which is the smallest of all, a total of 1,15,379 pilgrims have left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the yatra.

Situated at a height of 3,888 metres above the sea-level in the Himalayan ranges in Kashmir, the ice structure in the Amarnath cave waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.