Jammu, April 21 - The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) Saturday announced that the registration for the annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine devoted to Lord Shiva will start May 7.
The annual pilgrimage is scheduled to start June 25, but the registration process across the country starts much earlier to enable the state administration to make suitable arrangements for the pilgrims. The pilgrimage will end with Raksha Bandhan Aug 2.
'The process of registering 'yatris' (pilgrims) for this year's Amarnathji Yatra (pilgrimage) shall commence May 7 simultaneously for both the Baltal and Chandanwari routes, through 174 bank branches and via the internet based e-registration system,' said a spokesman of the SASB.
He added: 'The decision to commence the registration for this year's yatra was taken during an extensive review meeting held here Saturday by Governor N.N. Vohra, who also is chairman of the shrine board.'
Vohra held the meeting with the officials of the shrine board, including chief executive officer (CEO) Navin K. Choudhary.
Choudhary said the pilgims' registration will commence across the country at 121 designated branches of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank, 49 branches of the YES Bank and four district Cooperative Banks.
'Full details of all the registration centres are being shown on the board's website, www.shriamarnathjishrine.com,' said the spokesman.
'As recommended by the board's sub-committee headed by Art of Living founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and consequently approved by the shrine board, this year's yatra shall commence simultaneously along both the Baltal and the Chandanwari routes June 25 and culminate on Raksha Bandhan Day (August 2),' the spokesman added.
The board has required that every pilgrim should have a health certificate issued by a Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP), the spokesman said. According to the CEO, during the 2009, 2010 and 2011 yatras respectively 45, 68 and 107 pilgrims had lost their lives.
Since most pilgrims do not pay serious attention to the health advisories issued by the CEO, the board has decided that they should undergo a compulsory health check-up and furnish a health certificate from a Registered Medical Practitioner when they apply for a yatra permit. This requirement had also been advised by the National Disaster Management Authority, the spokesman added.