NatGeo: Massive Hindu Pilgrimage Melting Sacred Glacier

Hmm… not too sure much credence can be placed in this – Pakistan is in the shores of the Arabian Sea, not the Bay of Bengal (that would be Bangladesh but then they’d have the wrong river since the Ganges empties there)

Between June and August each year, Hindu pilgrims complete the Amarnath Yatra, an arduous trek to a holy cave high up in the Himalayan glaciers near the border with Pakistan, in Indian-controlled Kashmir. In the past five years, the number of people making the trip has nearly doubled. (See a map of the region.)

In 2011, more than 650,000 people visited the cave. The increased human traffic is threatening the environment in this fragile ecosystem, a major source of water for the Indus River. Scientists are now grappling with how to protect the headwaters of the Indus, while giving reverence to religion, culture, and politics.

The Indus alone, traveling from the western Himalayas through Pakistan to the Bay of Bengal, supports about 90% of Pakistan’s agriculture.

Bit of a fail there by NatGeo to miss by, oh, the Indian subcontinent.

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