NGT declares Amarnath Cave shrine a ‘Silent Zone’

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 14 December 2017 issued a clarification on the Amarnath matter saying it’s not declared a ‘silence zone’, and that silence restriction will not apply on Aarti and other rituals. The Amarnath cave shrine is considered one of the major holy shrines by the Hindus. The cave itself is covered with snow most of the year barring a short period of time in summer when it is opened for pilgrims.

On 13 December 2017, an NGT bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar had banned the chanting of mantras at Amarnath temple and issued a slew of orders to be implemented by the Amarnath Shrine Board.

The green tribunal also said there should be no ringing of bells in the cave temple, situated at an altitude of 3,888 metres in J&K, and pilgrims would have to deposit all mobiles and belongings at the last check post. The tribunal asked the shrine authorities to consider building a separate room where people could keep their belongings.

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