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Fresh batches of pilgrims leave for Amarnath cave

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Srinagar, July 14:  A fresh batch of over 3,000 pilgrims today left Jammu for the holy cave shrine of Amarnath. The 60-day yatra commenced from the twin routes of Baltal in Ganderbal and Pahalgam in Anantnag districts on June 28 and over 1.65 lakh pilgrims from across the country had already paid obeisance at the cave shrine.

“The fresh batch of 3,048 pilgrims, including 623 women and 144 sadhus, left Jammu in 112 vehicles for the twin base camps in the Valley under tight security in the wee hours,” a police official said.

He said while 1,973 pilgrims, including 310 women and 144 sadhus, were heading for the Nunwan base camp along the 36-km Pahalgam track, 1,075 yatries have opted the shortest 12-km Baltal route. They will be reaching the base camp later in the day.

The yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 26 coinciding with ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival.The annual pilgrimage was progressing smoothly, official sources said here on Saturday.

They said on the 16th day on Friday 13,083 yatris had paid obeisance. With this, a total of 1,65,006 pilgrims, including women and sadhus, from different parts of the country had darshan of the self made ice Shivlingam since June 28 when the yatra commenced from both traditional Pahalgam and shortest Baltal tracks.

Since early this morning more pilgrims are reaching the cave shrine to pay obeisance, they added. A fresh batch of over 2,800 pilgrims left Baltal base camp for the holy cave shrine early Saturday morning. The pilgrims are scheduled to pay obeisance at the cave shrine after covering the 14-km-long hilly track on foot this afternoon. Meanwhile, pilgrims who had night halt at a camp after darshan yesterday, have started their return journey to base camp this morning.

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