Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, GC Murmu, peformed “Pratham Aarti” of the ice stalagmite at the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir on Sunday morning.

He was accompanied by his principal secretary and chief executive officer of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) Bipul Pathak, additional CEO AK Soni, Division Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole and other senior officials.

“The LG along with senior officials reached the cave shrine early Sunday morning and performed Pratham Aarti,” said an official of the SASB.

Prasar Bharati, India’s official broadcaster, showed the aarti live. It will do so till August 3.

“Happy to share that the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board in association with Prasar Bharati will bring the live telecast of Aarti from the Holy Cave of Shri Amarnathji on various Doordarshan channels,” Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar had tweeted on Saturday. The aarti will be shown live at 3 am and 7 pm.

The chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir BVR Subrahmanyam on Saturday had said that this year’s Amarnath Yatra in south Kashmir Himalayas would have to be undertaken in a restricted manner, so that the SOPs for Covid-19 are strictly adhered to.

“Given the constraints, a maximum of 500 yatris will be allowed per day by road from Jammu. Therefore, arrangements will have to be limited to this number,” he had said while chairing a meeting of the sub-committee constituted by the Supreme Court.

The curtailed yatra (pilgrimage) is likely to be held from July 23 to August 3 this year from the shorter Baltal route.

On June 5, the top officials of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) performed “Pratham Pooja” in the state’s winter capital Jammu on the occasion of Jayestha Purnima signifying commencement of the annual pilgrimage.

The “Pratham Pooja” at SASB’s Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Ashram was conducted by Principal secretary to J&K Lieutenant Governor and CEO of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, Bipul Pathak, ACEO AK Soni.