Pilgrims can go for the annual Amarnath Yatra between June 28 and August 26, the shrine board, headed by Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra, decided on Tuesday. Every year, lakhs of pilgrims from across India trek up 4,000 metre to the cave, which has a natural stalagmite formation seen as an icon of Lord Shiva.

In 2017, the yatra was marred by a militant attack on a bus with 56 passengers. Eight pilgrims were killed and 15 injured.

The annual pilgrimage has also been in the news after the National Green Tribunal, in December 2017, laid down new rules to safeguard the environment.

After first directing the Amarnath Shrine Board to ensure no “mantras” or “jaykaras” are chanted inside the cave, the tribunal clarified that the temple has not been declared a “silent zone” and that the new rules do not impose restrictions during rituals. The restriction only applies to the space near the Shivling, the tribunal said.

The tribunal’s clarification came after criticism from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which said Hindus were not responsible for every ecological problem.