Devotees during their pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, in Baltal, Jammu and Kashmir in July 2019.

Amarnath Yatra: Special religious ceremony to be performed in Jammu on Friday

The high officers of the Jammu and Kashmir administration will conduct pooja in Jammu on Friday, formally marking the beginning of Amarnath Yatra.

The ‘Pratham Pooja’ will probably be performed by Principal secretary to J&Okay Lieutenant Governor and CEO of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, Bipul Pathak, ACEO AK Soni.

“It signifies commencement of the annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Shri Amarnath. The yatra, however, shall begin on July 21 for a shorter duration of 14 days and it will end on August 3,” official sources advised Hindustan Times.

The pilgrimage to the three,880-metre-high holy cave shrine in south Kashmir will now be performed from the shorter Baltal route solely, they added.

While Deputy Commissioner of Ganderbal, of which Baltal is part, has already pressed males and equipment for clearing the tracks.

The determination to cut-short the time interval of the yatra was taken throughout a gathering held by Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor GC Murmu final week.

The authorities had determined in February this 12 months to carry the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine.

The Amarnath Yatra was scheduled to start from the dual tracks of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district on June 23. The pilgrimage was to finish on August three on the day of Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan).

Last 12 months, the yatra was reduce quick following intelligence inputs of terror threats forward of the Centre scrapping Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2018, the pilgrimage was held for 60 days.

Thousands of pilgrims both trek the normal and longer 45km-long Pahalgam route or the shorter 14km-long Baltal path to the holy shrine yearly.

The pilgrimage normally spans practically a month and a half and takes place throughout July and August.

One of the holiest pilgrimages in Hinduism, the yatra attracts pilgrims from India in addition to the world over. There have been terror assaults on the route of the yatra previously. The final assault occurred in 2017 on a bus from Gujarat in Anantnag district that left seven pilgrims useless.