Nearly 1.70 lakh people have so far registered for the pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, set to begin for the 60-day long period from Jammu on June 28. Over 1.69 lakh pilgrims have been registered at various counters across the country and the registration is going on in full swing, officials associated with registration of the yatra said today. Of these, 1.39 lakh pilgrims have been registered across the country, 28,516 pilgrims have been booked for yatra through helicopters apart from registration of 2,122 foreign tourists, they said. The 60-day long annual yatra to the shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas will commence on June 28 and the yatra will be longer by 20 days this year. Yatra will culminate on Raksha Bandhan day on August 26. The registration for the yatra began on March 1.
The registration is being done at 440 branches of the Punjab National Bank, the Jammu and Kashmir Bank and the YES Bank across the country. No person below the age of 13 years or above 75 years is registered even though he or she might have obtained the compulsory health certificate. Advance online booking of helicopter tickets for the Amarnath pilgrimage had started on April 27. The standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the online booking of helicopter tickets have been formulated within the parameters of the Air Traffic Services Regulations, officials said. On-spot registration facility during the Yatra period will be available at four places in Jammu, they said. Four on-the-spot registration facilities will be made available for pilgrims aspiring to undertake the pilgrimage to the cave shrine. These facilities will be set up at Vaishnavi Dham, Saraswati Dham, Jammu Haat and Geeta Bhawan-Ram Mandir.