Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), which runs the sacred Amarnath cave shrine, has announced the dates for Amarnath Yatra 2021. The holy Amarnath Yatra, which traditionally begins on the auspicious day of Skanda Sashti in the month of Shravan (according to the Hindu calendar), will commence on June 28 this year. As per the tradition, it concludes on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) i.e., August 22, 2021. The registration process for this 56-day-long annual pilgrimage is all set to begin from April 1, 2021.
Amarnath Yatra is one of the significant pilgrimages every person of the Hindu faith desires to undertake at least once in her/his lifetime for religious and spiritual reasons. The Yatra to the mysterious Amarnath Cave Temple, situated at an altitude of 3,888 m from sea level, involves an arduous journey through the mountains of South Kashmir. Yet, the staunch devotees brave the tough situations en route for a glimpse of their revered Lord Shiva, who appears in the form of an enchanting Ice Lingam during the months of July and August. The beautiful ice lingam grows and shrinks with the waxing and waning of the moon, thus attaining its glorious height of 10-12 feet on Purnima (full moon night).
An average of 3 lakh people complete this annual Yatra, which is believed to free humans from the cycle of birth and death. Devotees take any of the two trekking routes (Pahalgam-Chandanwari track and Sonmarg-Baltal track) to the temple, situated 141 km from Srinagar.
The Shrine Board reassured that all the COVID protocols would be strictly enforced during the Amarnath Yatra 2021 to ensure the safety of devotees and service providers. As per the reports, special emphasis is being placed on sanitation practices and the provision of healthcare facilities. The launch of battery-operated cars to serve pilgrims along the 2.75-km-long Baltal to Domel stretch is going to be a relief for Yatris this year.
It has been decided that 7500 people would be allowed to register for Amarnath Yatra 2021 per day per route. This number does not include the Yatris who take helicopters to Panjtarni. The board stated that individuals below 13 years of age and above 75 years would not be permitted for Amarnath Yatra 2021.
Yatris can register themselves for the pilgrimage through the official website of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board or through 446 designated branches of Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, and YES Bank, located in 37 states and UTs. Given the fact that a large number of devotees living abroad book flights to India to take part in this annual Yatra, SASB has also established a special facility for NRIs/ ex-India pilgrims registering for Amarnath Yatra 2021.