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Over one lakh perform Amarnath Yatra in five days


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Shillong, July 4: The Annual Amarnath Yatra 2024 is set to break all previous records as over one lakh devotees performed the ongoing Yatra in five days as another batch of 5,696 pilgrims left for Kashmir on Thursday.


Officials of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), which manages the affairs of the Yatra, said over one lakh devotees had ‘darshan’ since it started on June 29.


“Another batch of 5696 Yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu today for the Valley in two escorted convoys. Of these, 2028 Yatris left in an escorted convoy of 97 vehicles at 3.13 a.m. for the north Kashmir Baltal base camp while 3.668 left in another escorted convoy of 122 vehicles at 3.40 a.m. for south Kashmir Nunwan (Pahalgam) base camp.”


Last year, in the first five days of the yatra around 50,000 pilgrims trooped to the shrine.


The Meteorological (MeT) department has forecast generally cloudy weather on both the Yatra routes with the possibility of light rain/thunder during the day.


Yatris take either the 48 km long traditional Pahalgam route or the shorter 14 km long Baltal route to perform the Yatra.


Those using the Pahalgam route take four days to reach the cave shrine while those taking the Baltal route return to the base camp the same day after having ‘darshan’.


The cave shrine located at 3888 metres above sea level houses an ice stalagmite structure that wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon.


Devotees believe that the ice stalagmite structure symbolises the mythical powers of Lord Shiva.


Extensive arrangements for security have been made this year all along the nearly 300 km long Jammu-Srinagar highway, at the twin Yatra routes, the two base camps and the cave shrine to ensure a smooth, incident-free Yatra.


Over 124 ‘langars’ (community kitchens) have been set up along both the routes and also at the transit camps and near the cave shrine.


Over 7,000 ‘Sevadars’ (Volunteers) are serving the Yatris during this year’s Yatra.


Helicopter services are also available for the Yatris on both routes. (IANS)


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