Preparations for 2012 Amarnath pilgrimage beginOctober 16th, 2011 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS
Jammu, Oct 16 (IANS) Preparations for the annual Amarnath pilgrimage in Jammu and Kashmir next year started Sunday with Governor N.N. Vohra, who is the chairman of the shrine board, holding a meeting with officials.
Vohra visited the shrine and also reviewed the cleanliness drive launched by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), which manages the affairs of the annual pilgrimage, along the track to the Himalayan cave shrine devoted to Hindu God Lord Shiva at a height of 13,500 feet above sea level.
The drive was ordered by the governor after the conclusion of the 45-day annual pilgrimage Aug 13. The shrine attracted 634,000 pilgrims from across the country this year.
The track which passes through fragile glaciers has been cleared of all the garbage, said a spokesman of the shrine board.
He said the governor held a meeting with the officers of the civil administration and functionaries of the shrine board for the arrangements to be put in place for the next year’s pilgrimage.
“Vohra discussed the arrangements at the base camp at Baltal and along the yatra route with the officials for the next year’s pilgrimage,” the spokesman said.
“He called for upgradation of the facilities for pilgrims at the cave and along the route,” he said.
The shrine board provides accommodation,medical facilities and ensures security of the pilgrims with the help of the state administration, army and paramilitary forces.
A major attraction at the shrine during the pilgrimage is the naturally-made stalagmite of snow, which the pilgrims worship.
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Tags: civil administration, cleanliness drive, feet above sea level, garbage, glaciers, himalayan cave, hindu god, kashmir, lord shiva, medical facilities, paramilitary forces, pilgrimage, pilgrims, sasb, shri, shrine board, stalagmite, state administration, upgradation, vohra