The Amarnath Shrine Board has issued a health advisory for pilgrims undertaking the Amarnath Yatra this year to prepare for the arduous journey by having a four to five kilometre walk every day, morning or evening, at least a month before the Yatra.

The Amarnathji Yatra starts this year on 29 June and continues till 7 August. The pilgrimage to the Holy Cave of Shri Amarnathji involves trekking at altitudes as high as 14000 feet. The Yatris may develop high altitude sickness with symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness and dizziness,

The advisory said the pilgrims should start deep breathing exercise and Yoga, particularly pranayam for improving oxygen efficiency of the body. The pilgrims should check with their physicians prior to travelling to higher elevations, if they had any old medical conditions.

The pilgrims should walk slowly, while ascending and take time to acclamatise, and relax for a short while on steep inclines. They should not ignore the symptoms of high altitude illness. “Don’t drink alcohol, caffeinated drink, or smoke,” the advisory said.