Amarnath Yatra will span from June 29 to August 19, 2024
Amarnath Yatra will span from June 29 to August 19, 2024Shutterstock

Annual Amarnath Yatra Registration Opens For Devotees

Pilgrims can choose between traditional and shorter routes for the 52-day spiritual journey starting June 29

The annual Amarnath Yatra registration began on April 15, with many devotees lining up at designated bank branches to secure their pilgrimage permits. Scheduled to kick off on June 29 and conclude on August 19, the 52-day journey to the 3,880-meter-high cave shrine in south Kashmir is set to captivate pilgrims once again, as announced by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

Pilgrims can choose between two routes for their spiritual odyssey: the traditional 48-km route through Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag or the shorter but steeper 14-km Baltal route in the Ganderbal district of central Kashmir.

This year, the registration process has been streamlined, employing Aadhaar authentication-based form generation at 540 Punjab National Bank (PNB) branches nationwide. Forms will now be system-generated, ensuring a smoother registration experience for devotees.

In Jammu's Rehari district, the designated PNB branch welcomed pilgrims with festivity adorned with flowers and bunting. Eager participants queued up from early morning to secure their spot in the pilgrimage. Suman Devi of Janipur stated, "We want to be part of the first batch of pilgrims undertaking the yatra to the cave shrine. We have been registered. It is a moment of happiness for us."

The pilgrimage schedule was finalised during a meeting of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), chaired by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. The yatra is set to commence simultaneously from both routes, providing devotees with a seamless journey towards spiritual fulfilment.

To accommodate devotees unable to attend physically, the shrine board will facilitate live telecasts of morning and evening "aarti" (prayers), extending the spiritual experience to devotees worldwide.

With 542 bank branches nationwide designated for registration, including online registration via the board's website, accessibility for pilgrims has been maximised. However, certain eligibility criteria apply, barring individuals below 13 or above 75 years of age and women with pregnancies exceeding six weeks, from registering for the yatra.

(With inputs from PTI)

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