The Jammu and Kashmir government announced on Monday (June 21) that the Amarnath Yatra for this year has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The government, on the other hand, declared that all traditional religious rituals would be performed at the Holy Cave Shrine, as has been done in the past.
Before making the decision, the esteemed members of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, including Swami Avdheshanand Ji, ShriDC Raina, Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Prof Anita Billawariya, Shri Sudarshan Kumar, Prof. Vishwamurti Shashtri, Pt. Bhajan Sopori, Dr C.M. Seth, and Mrs Tripta Dhawan, held a threadbare discussion on the current
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, who is also the Chairman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, then met with Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, DGP Dilbag Singh, Principal Secretary Home Shaleen Kabra, and Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor, Nitishwar Kumar, who is also the CEO of the Shrine Board, and directed that devotees be allowed to attend morning and evening Aarti. He claimed that it would allow them to pay their respects while avoiding travel and exposure.
The Shrine Board informed the meeting that a virtual and televised mechanism for live Darshan of Aarti from the holy cave had been put in place.
“It is critical to saving people’s lives. As a result, it is not in the public interest to hold and conduct this year’s pilgrimage. The ShriAmarnathji Shrine Board is aware of and respects the sentiments of millions of devotees, and to keep those sentiments alive, the Board will continue to broadcast morning and evening Aarti from the Holy Cave shrine live on television “According to the Lieutenant Governor
Lt Governor also emphasised the importance of following COVID protocol on significant and pious days such as Pratham Pooja and SamapanPooja. He also stated that saints visiting the Shrine cave to perform Aarti by “Shastra” would adhere to COVID guidelines.
Nitishwar Kumar, CEO of the Amarnathji Shrine Board, stated that the shrine board has made arrangements for Lord Shiva’s mace, Chhari Mubarak, to be taken to the holy cave on August 22, when the yatra is scheduled to end, coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival.
“The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board has been conducting an assessment of the Covid situation in the Union Territory and throughout the country. Our priority is to contain the pandemic and strengthen healthcare infrastructure “He took note.
Nitishwar Kumar, the CEO, stated that both the morning telecast of Aarti at 6 a.m. and the evening Aarti at 5 p.m., each lasting 30 minutes, will be live-streamed on the Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine board’s official website and the app specifically designed for devotees.