Another batch of 2,513 pilgrims today left Jammu for the 3,888-metre high Amarnath cave shrine of Lord Shiva in south Kashmir Himalayas. Escorted by the CRPF, the pilgrims comprising 1863 men, 550 women and 100 sadhus left in 78 vehicles for Baltal and Pahalgam base camps of Amarnath shrine this morning, officials said.
With today’s batch, a total of 23,048 pilgrims and sadhus have left Jammu for Amarnath since the yatra began on June 28.
As many as 90,045 pilgrims had paid obeisance at the Amarnath shrine in South Kashmir hills till last evening.
Five pilgrims and an ITBP Assistant Sub Inspector died en route to the shrine during past 7 days of the yatra.
The annual yatra in Kashmir began amid a terror threat, which has prompted the authorities to mobilize the “highest level” of security measures, including satellite tracking system.
The government has mobilized a heavy security blanket of over 35,000 to 40,000 troops including the police, the Army, the BSF and the CRPF. This year’s yatra is eight days shorter than the last year’s of 48 days. It will conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7. Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley, Amarnath shrine stands at 3,888 meters, 46 km from Pahalgam and 14 km from Baltal.