Another batch of pilgrims leaves for Amarnath shrine
Jammu: The fifth batch of over 8,700 Amarnath pilgrims on Sunday left a base camp here for the shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said.
The pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here in a convoy of 326 vehicles, the officials said.
They said 2,618 pilgrims heading for Baltal were the first to leave the Bhagwati Nagar camp in 121 vehicles around 3.30 am followed by the second convoy of 205 vehicles carrying 6,155 pilgrims for Pahalgam.
The annual 43-day yatra commenced from the twin base camps — traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag and 14-km shorter Baltal in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal — on June 30.
So far till 9 am, over 39,000 pilgrims had offered their prayers at the cave shrine, housing the naturally formed ice-shivlingam, the officials said.
Among the 6,155 pilgrims who left for Pahalgam, 1,924 are women, 12 children, and two transgenders, while the group heading for Baltal included 709 women, the officials said.
With this, a total of 31,987 pilgrims have left from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the Valley since June 29, the day the first batch of pilgrims was flagged off by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha.
The yatra is scheduled to end on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.