Jammu, March 1: The registration for the annual Amarnath Yatra through both Baltal and Chandanwari routes began today. The new 14-kilometre Baltal-Holy cave route is preferred by most Yatris as the journey can be completed in a day. The annual yatra to the holy shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas will begin from 29 June to 7 August this year. This year’s yatra will be shorter by eight days against the 48 days in 2016. The registration for the holy yatra will be done through over 400 designated branches of Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank located in various States of the country, an official spokesperson informed.

P K Tripathi, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) said that persons under the age of 13 years or above the age of 75 years and women who are more than six weeks pregnant will not be registered for yatra. Every Yatri will have to submit an application form and compulsory health certificate (CHC) to obtain permission for the annual Yatra. Formats of the application form and CHC, and the list of doctors/medical institutions authorised to issue the CHC are available at the Shrine Board’s website www.shriamarnathjishrine.com.

The Amarnath Shrine Board has issued Dos and Don’ts for Yatris.

The Dos

  1. Do carry sufficient woolen clothing as the temperature may sometimes abruptly fall to below 5 degree Celsius.
  2. Do carry an umbrella, wind cheater, raincoat, and waterproof shoes as the weather in the Yatra area is unpredictable.
  3. Do keep your clothes and eatables in a suitable water-proof bag to avoid your belongings getting wet.
  4. Do keep in your pocket a note containing the name/address, mobile telephone number of any Yatri proceeding for Darshan on the same date as you are doing, for emergency purposes.
  5. Do carry your identity card/driving license and Yatra permit with you.
  6. Do travel in a group, with porters / horses / ponies carrying your luggage.
  7. Do ensure that all those comprising the group remain in your sight, lest you are separated from your group.
  8. On your journey home, you must leave the Base Camps along with all other members of your group.
  9. Do seek an immediate assistance of the Police in case any member of your group is missing. Also have an announcement made on the Public Address System at the Yatra Camp.
  10. Do help your fellow Yatris travelling with you and perform Yatra with a pious mind.
  11. Do strictly follow the instructions issued by the Yatra Administration, from time to time.
  12. For any assistance, contact SASB Camp Directors / nearest Yatra Control room.
  13. In case of any accident or emergent situation, immediately contact the nearest Camp Director / Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) deployed at various locations.
  14. The gates of Access Control at Domel and Chandanwari open at 05.00 am and close at 11.00 am. Reach the gates on time.  No Yatri shall be allowed to undertake pilgrimage after the closure of the Gate.
  15. Free food facility is available in the entire Yatra area at the Langars.
  16. Do follow the prescribed  Food  Menu available on the  Board’s website: www.shriamarnathjishrine.com  while having food in the Yatra area.
  17. Pre-paid SIM Cards from other States shall not work in J&K and Yatra area. Yatris can purchase pre-activated SIM Cards at the Base Camps of Baltal and Nunwan.
  18. Earth, water, air, fire and sky are integral parts of Lord Shiva. Therefore respect the environment and do nothing whatsoever to pollute the Yatra area.

 Don’ts for the Yatris

  1. For women Yatris: They must not wear sarees during the Yatra.  Salwar kameez, pant-shirt or a track suit is advisable.
  2. Women who are more than 6 week pregnant shall not be allowed to undertake the pilgrimage.
  3. Children below 13 years in age and elderly persons above the age of 75 years shall not be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage.
  4. Don’t stop at places which are marked by warning notices. Walk only on the tracks.
  5. Don’t walk barefoot or be without woolen clothing at any time as the temperature in the Yatra area remains low and changes abruptly.
  6. Don’t use slippers because there are steep rises and falls on the route to the Holy Cave. Only wear trekking shoes with laces.
  7. Don’t attempt any short cuts on the route as doing so is dangerous.
  8. Don’t commence journey on an empty stomach. If you do so, you may attract a serious medical problem.
  9. Don’t do anything during the entire Yatra which could cause pollution or disturb the environment of the area.
  10. Do not bring with you any polythene material as its use is banned in J&K and is punishable  under law
  11. Avoid throwing coins, currency notes, decorative chunnis, brass lotas or any other material towards the Shivlingam while having Darshans at the Holy Cave.
  12. Do not stay at Holy Cave overnight in view of high altitude and harsh and unpredictable weather conditions.
  13. Do not leave Panjtarni Camp towards Holy Cave after 3.00 PM as no darshan is allowed at Holy Cave after 6.00 PM.

The Application Form and CHC shall be made available free of cost to the applicant-Yatri by the Registration Branch. To apply for the Yatra Permit, the Yatri will have to submit a filled-in prescribed Application Form; prescribed Compulsory Health Certificate (CHC) issued on or after Feb 10, 2017 by  the Authorized Doctor/ Medical four passport sized photographs ( three for Yatra Permits and one for the Application form) to the Registration Officer.