Leaving on the Shri Amarnath Yatra on July 1 this year? On the pilgrimage, you cannot consume cold beverages, crunchy snacks, fried and fast food items, heavy sweets like jalebi and halwa, pooris, or chhola bhaturas.
The Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board has prohibited a number of foods in its yearly health advise for the rigorous yatra that could be harmful to the health of pilgrims on the journey.
In order to offer and sell food to the pilgrims and service providers, a comprehensive food menu has been established that will be applicable to Langar organisations, food stalls, shops, and other facilities that pop up in the yatra area. The purpose is to prevent pilgrims from consuming ‘unhealthy’ foods while enduring the difficult 14-km trip over alpine terrain and high altitudes.
In 2022, the Amaranth Yatra saw about 42 pilgrims pass away from natural causes. In order to keep pilgrims safe, the government has implemented measures such as installing oxygen booths and establishing hospitals at various points along the yatra route. They also insist that pilgrims must have a necessary health certificate.
Since last year, RFID tags have also been utilised to keep tabs on the yatris’ wellbeing. The health recommendation for this year is an additional measure to make sure pilgrims ‘feed correctly’ while on the trip in order to be in shape.
For religious reasons, the meal menu forbids the consumption of non-vegetarian cuisine, alcohol, tobacco, gutka, pan masala, smoking, and other intoxicants. Aerated cold drinks are also prohibited, however herbal tea, coffee, low-fat milk, fruit juices, lemon squash, and vegetable soup are permitted when travelling.
Fried rice is not allowed, but regular rice and light fare like roasted chana, poha, uthappam, idli, dal-roti, and chocolate are. Oats, dried fruits, honey, kheer, and boiled sweets are acceptable. However, heavier foods such as chhola-bhatura, pooris, pizza, burgers, dosas, and chowmein are not permitted on the way to the Amarnath holy cave.
All halwai foods, including halwa, jalebi, gulab jamun, ladoos, barfi, and rasgullas, as well as salty and fatty crunchy snacks, as well as much-liked goods like Kurkure and namkeen combinations, have been excluded from the food menu. Samosas and pakoras are strictly forbidden as well.
Along with shops and food stalls that appear on the journey, food is provided at numerous langars at various sites along the course of the yatra.