Over 1 lakh pilgrims register for Amarnath pilgrimage

Jammu: Over 1.10 lakh devotees have registered for the annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas which begins on July 1, officials said Sunday.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Paul Malik had launched last week an online registration process for pilgrims.

The registration process for the annual Amarnath yatra through the Baltal and the Chandanwari routes began on April 2, they said.

They said nobody will be allowed to undertake the yatra without a permit, which is valid for a specified day and route.

The registration of pilgrims is being undertaken through 440 designated branches of the Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and the YES Bank located in 32 states and Union Territories.

The 46-day-long yatra will begin on July 1, the day of Masik Shivratri, and would conclude on August 15, the day of Shravan Purnima.

In addition to the existing processes of registration, the board has approved a proposal for online registration of a limited number of intending pilgrims each day on a pilot basis, the officials said.

The website contains an application form and a state-wise list of bank branches which the people can visit for registration.

The pilgrims will have to furnish a compulsory health certificate (CHC) while registering.

A state-wise list of doctors and medical institutes authorised to issue the CHCs has been put on the website of the shrine board.

Children under the age of 13 years or elderly above 75 and women who are more than six weeks pregnant will not be registered for the yatra, the officials said.

Those who plan to travel by helicopter do not require advance registration as their chopper ticket shall suffice for this purpose, they said

However, they will have to produce the CHC in the prescribed format before they are allowed to travel, the officials added.