Over 3.5 Lakh Pilgrims Perform Amarnath Yatra, Records 30% Increase from Last Year
Central security forces, along with the J&K police has been deployed along the route and 'langars' are also being served to the yatris.
File photo of pilgrims travel on ponies or on foot, along a track besides a glacier-fed stream on their way to the cave. (Reuters)
Jammu: A record number of over 3.5 lakh pilgrims have performed the annual Amarnath yatra, with the latest batch of 1,175 yatris left Jammu for the valley on Tuesday. This is 30 per cent more than last year.
Officials of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), that manages the affairs of the pilgrimage, said, "On the 29th day of the ongoing Shri Amarnathji yatra, 2,055 yatris paid obeisance at the Holy Cave. Till date 3,21,410 yatris had "darshan" of the shivling at the Holy Cave.
"Yatra remained suspended from the Baltal route on Monday due to inclement weather, however, it proceeded smoothly from Pahalgam route".
Arrangements have been made to ensure a smooth passage for the pilgrims who undertake treacherous trek to the shrine. Central security forces, along with the J&K police has been deployed along the route and 'langars' are also being served to the yatris. Telecom companies are providing local SIMs and cellular services.
Police said 1,175 yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in two escorted convoys for the valley on Tuesday morning.
"Of these, 515 yatris are going to Baltal base camp while 660 are going to Pahalgam base camp".
Situated at a height of 3,888 metres above the sea-level in the Himalayan ranges in Kashmir, Amarnath cave houses an ice stalagmite structure that symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva according to the devotees.
The ice structure waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.
So far, 26 pilgrims have died during the yatra. In addition to this, two volunteers and two security men also lost their lives.
Yatra started on July 1 and will conclude on August 15 coinciding with the "Shravan Purnima" festival.
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