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Fresh batch of nearly 6,000 pilgrims leave for Amarnath shrine amid tight security

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Jammu: A fresh batch of nearly 6,000 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar base camp here on Wednesday under tight security arrangements to visit the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said.

A total of 5,982 pilgrims of the eighth batch left in two separate convoys, nearly six hours behind schedule, after authorities reviewed its decision to suspend the yatra for the day owing to inclement weather, they said.

While 3,363 pilgrims, including 665 women, 75 sadhus and 17 children left in a convoy of 131 vehicles for Nunwan-Pahalgam base camp around 9.50 am, another convoy carrying 2,619 devotees including 556 women and 49 sadhus, left in 78 vehicles for Baltal base camp around 10.30 am, officials said.

So far, over 75,000 pilgrims have visited the cave shrine, housing the naturally formed ice-Shivlingam even as heavy rains disrupted the yatra on Tuesday.

The 43-day long yatra commenced on June 30 from the twin tracks — traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district and 14-km shorter Baltal in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

The yatra is scheduled to end on August 11 on the occasion of ‘Shravan Purnima’ coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.

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