For what are apparently security reasons, not only the yatries but any car with a number plate from outside of J&K, is not allowed to leave Pahalgam between 4 p.m and 7 a.m.
The reducing number of tourists and yatries at both Pahalgam and Sonemarg, makes one wonder how the local population is dealing with the inconvenience the Amarnath Yatra is causing them. From road blocks, to restrictive commuting, to uniformed men standing right outside their shops with guns, for the dwindling numbers of tourists must be a real bother. Not enough can be said about the damage it causes the environment. If only they would have thought these things before extending the duration.
The official figures will convince you of the enormous number of yatries, who have arrived here. But if you have driven to Srinagar, visited both Pahalgam and Sonemarg, you will wonder if the numbers are a figment of someone’s vivid imagination. Forget visiting, just check out any application or website for hotel bookings and you will find most of the hotels in Kashmir, at a discounted rate. What was once the most expensive time to visit the Valley, due to the inflow of tourists has become a really slow season.