Amid the crucial decision of cancelling the Amarnath Yatra this year, a major portion of the Shiv Lingam (ice stalagmite) formed inside the Amarnath cave shrine has melted away due to rise in temperature. 

This comes two weeks ahead of Shravan Purnima, which falls on August 3. According to official sources, " A major portion of the Shiv lingam (ice stalagmite) has already melted away, only one feet remains visible."

A senior officer was reportedly said, "The surrounding hill features remained covered with snow for a longer duration but this time the snow had melted away little earlier. Due to clear sunny days, the day temperature triggered fast melting away of shiv lingam", he added.

No Amarnath Yatra this year 

Several Indians are stranded on their way to Kailash Mansarovar are stuck in Nepal's Simikot. (Representational Image)Creative Commons

Amid the rise in coronavirus cases and all the pilgrimages being suspended, the annual Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage stands cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pilgrimages this year has been cancelled mainly due to coronavirus pandemic, digression of forces to Ladakh and security scenarios in the Valley.

According to sources, a crucial meeting of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) took place today, July 21 to take a final decision on conducting the pilgrimage this year. So far the board was tight-lipped about the schedule of the annual Yatra.

The 42-day-long yatra to the 3,880-metre-high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas was earlier curtailed and was to be held only from the Batal route for 15 days. It is pertinent to note that the yatra concludes on Shravan Poornima every year, and this time, it is on August 3.

"The Board is aware of and respects the sentiments of millions of devotees. To keep the religious sentiments alive, the Board shall continue live telecast/virtual darshan of the morning and evening aarti. Further, the traditional rituals shall be carried out as per past practice. Also, the Chhadi Mubarak shall be facilitated by the government," the statement read.