Amarnath Yatra Cancelled Second Year In A Row Due To Covid; Devotees Can Attend Virtual Aartis

by Kanika Sharma
Amarnath Yatra Cancelled Second Year In A Row Due To Covid; Devotees Can Attend Virtual Aartis

Last year, due to rising Coronavirus cases, the Amarnath Shrine Board decided to cancel the pilgrimage. This happened for the first time in 150 years. The board expressed concern as there has been a spike in cases specifically in July. After much deliberation, they decided to cancel the yatra for the year 2020. And now once again the Amarnath Yatra in Jammu & Kashmir will be cancelled for the second year in a row due to the Covid second wave. However, devotees can attend virtual aartis like last time.

Amarnath Yatra Cancelled For The First Time In 150 Years In 2020

According to a news report by The Tribune, the Amarnath Yatra was cancelled for the first time in 150 years.  The Amarnath Shrine Board, chaired by Lt. Governor GC Murmu, also attended by the UT administration officers, came to decision after deliberating over the increase in the number of cases. Once again the 56-day annual Amarnath Yatra stands cancelled in 2021 due to the Covid second wave. The Yatra will only be symbolic but all traditional religious rituals will be performed at the Holy Cave Shrine. Devotees can have online darshan as they can watch the aarti virtually.

Picture Credit: AdoTrip

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Devotees Will Be Able To Do ‘Virtual Darshan’

The shrine of Amarnath is located in the Kashmiri Himalayas at an altitude of 3,888 metres. To get here, the journey begins from Srinagar, which is about 140 kms from here. There are over 10 lakh devotees who visit the Amarnath shrine every year. The shrine board has tried to do their best to make sure that they are not disappointed. The annual pilgrimage (yatra), was scheduled to begin on June 23 which coincides with Skandshasthi.  It would have then concluded on August 3, on the day of Raksha Bhandan.

Picture Credit: Wikipedia

While releasing an official statement, the board said that the Amarnath Shrine Board will conduct a live telecast of the darshan for all its devotees. The morning and the evening aarti will be broadcasted, along with the traditional rituals. The pandemic may have had a an impact on the yatra, but the board is trying its best to make sure that the pilgrims are not left disappointed.

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Earlier, a petition in court was filed regarding the yatra being continued as planned, but the apex court denied it. It suggested that the decision lied in the purview of the board itself.