Three persons, including two devotees, were killed and over 10,000 pilgrims stranded as heavy rain lashed parts of Jammu and Kashmir [ Images ] prompting authorities to suspend the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath on Sunday.
"Heavy rains rendered the tracks on the 46-km route from Pahalgam to the cave and the shortest 12-km route from Baltal slippery hence the yatra has been suspended," a spokesman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) said.
While the pilgrims on way to the cave shrine on Pahalgam-cave route have been stopped at Sahdu Padaw those on the shorter route were asked not to proceed further from Domail.
32-year-old Farooq Ahmad Dar, a local shopkeeper, was killed when he was hit by a falling stone from a nearby hill at the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine on Sunday afternoon.
Another youth Mohammad Yousuf [ Images ] was injured in the incident and was hospitalised, the sources said, adding heavy rains triggered shooting of stones from a mountain.
However, several hundred pilgrims who have reached the cave shrine are safe and have been advised not to venture out without prior permission, sources said.
51-year-old Jai Dev Khamji of Jamna Nagar in Gujarat died of cold at 3,718 m high Sheshnag, the second halting station en route to the shrine.
Sadhu Gopal Krishan, 65, of Karnataka [ Images ] died of cardiac arrest at Manigam in Ganderbal district on way to the holy cave, the sources said.
The yatra would be resumed as soon as weather improves and the tracks become worth travelling, they added.