Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir), July 19: The ice Shiv lingam in the Amarnath cave has completely melted away nearly a month before the end of the pilgrimage.
Amarnath yatra started on June 30 this year and was scheduled to end on August 12. However, the Amarnath lingam melted around 20-21 days before the Yatra could conclude.
The premature melting of the ‘Shiv lingam' is rumoured to be the effect of either global warming or the impact of a cloudburst near the Amarnath cave on July 8.
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Yatris began their journey to the 3880-metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas from both Baltal and Pahalgam base camps. The distance from the Baltal base camp to the Amarnath shrine is around 14 km and the pilgrims are able to return after 'Darshan' the same day.
However, the route from the Nunwan base camp to the shrine is 45 km passing through Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarni halting stations. The one-way journey to the Amarnath cave on this route takes at least three days.
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