1996 Amarnath Yatra tragedy is referred to the deaths of over 250 pilgrims in 1996 in Jammu and Kashmir state in India due to bad weather. The pilgrims were on annual pilgrimage (Yatra) to Amarnath shrine.
The Government had banned the Amarnath Yatra from 1991 to 1995 due to threats from militants. In 1996 the militants had assured that they would not interfere with the yatra. So the number of pilgrims in 1996 were higher than usual. Between, August 21 and 25 1996 about one lakh (100,000) yatris were simultaneously moving either up or down between Jammu and the Amarnath.
During this period there was unusually heavy snowfall along with severe blizzards along the yatra route. Nearly 242 yatris lost their lives due to exhaustion, exposure, freezing, etc.
National Conference government constituted a committee headed by the retired IAS officer Dr. Nitish Sengupta which was asked to inquire into various aspects of the tragedy and suggest measures and remedies to avoid recurrence of such incidents in future.