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Amarnath Yatra: 1.59 lakh visit cave shrine in eight days


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Jammu, July 7 (IANS) Over 1.50 lakh pilgrims have successfully performed the Amarnath Yatra so far, the officials of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) have said here.

Although the ongoing Yatra was temporarily suspended due to heavy rainfall, 7,500 had ‘darshan’ on Saturday taking the total to 1.59 lakh.

“Due to heavy rain and slippery track conditions, Yatra was temporarily suspended yesterday, still 7,500 pilgrims had ‘darshan’ inside the holy cave shrine. Another batch of 6,145 Yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu in two escorted convoys for the Valley today,” said the officials.

“The first escorted convoy left at 3.10 a.m. carrying 2,697 Yatris in 115 vehicles for the North Kashmir Baltal base camp. The second escorted convoy left at 3.42 a.m. carrying 3,448 Yatris in 123 vehicles to the South Kashmir Nunwan (Pahalgam) base camp,” officials said.

The Meteorological (MeT) department has forecast partially cloudy weather on both the Yatra routes with the possibility of intermittent light rain and thundershowers 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’ inside the cave shrine.

The cave shrine situated 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 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.



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