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Amarnath yatra suspended for second day on Wednesday;
pilgrims stranded all along Balral route

     Jammu: The annual Amarnath yatra was suspended from Jammu base camp on Wednesday as inclement weather left thousands of pilgrims stranded for the second day at Baltal. "No fresh batch was allowed to go to Baltal base camp from Jammu because of bad weather," police said. Over 2,500 pilgrims remained stranded at the base camp in Jammu. Besides over 1,000 pilgrims were stopped at Kathua. The Jammu and Kashmir government and the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has set up three base camps at Bhagwati Nagar in Jammu, Nunwan in Pahalgam and Baltal for providing food and lodging facilities to pilgrims. Over 6,000 pilgrims, who could leave in the first batch on Monday, paid obeisance at the holy ice lingam of Lord Shiva in the cave shrine this morning. Yatra by the traditional Pahalgam route has not begun because of snow. Located in Jammu and Kashmir, the Amarnath cave shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main shrine is claimed to be over 5,000 years old. Last year, over 450,000 pilgrims visited the cave. The two-month long pilgrimage season will conclude on August 5.
-June 17, 2009


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