Press Trust of india

Fourth batch of 4,694 pilgrims leave for Amarnath shrine

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Jammu, Jul 3: Amid tight security, the fourth batch of 4,694 pilgrims including 791 women Wednesday left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here to pay obeisance at the 3,880 metre high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir, officials said.

The pilgrims, including 24 children and 70 sadhus, will reach the twin base camps of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district later in the day.

Over 20 thousand pilgrims have so far offered prayers at the shrine, housing the naturally formed ice-shivalingam, since the commencement of the 46-day yatra on July 1 from the twin routes-- the traditional 36-km Pahalgam track in Anantnag and the shorter 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbal.

Of the latest batch, the officials said, 2,642 pilgrims including 412 women, nine children and 47 Sadhus are heading for Pahalgam base camp while 2,052 pilgrims including 379 women, 15 children and 23 Sadhus have preferred the Baltal route.

The yatra is scheduled to end on August 15 coinciding the Raksha Bandhan festival.

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