The seventh batch of about 3,400 pilgrims today left Jammu for the high-altitude Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas. As many as 79,484 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the shrine of Lord Shiva till date. Amid chants of “Jai Bhole Nath, Bam Bam Bhole”, the group comprising 2,604 men, 635 women and 102 sadhus and sadhvis in left in a convoy of 102 vehicles this morning, an official spokesperson said. They were escorted by vehicles of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the spokesperson said.
With today’s batch a total of 2,05,035 pilgrims and sadhus have left Jammu for Amarnath since the 40-day-long pilgrimage began on June 28. The government has mobilised a heavy security 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 metres, 46 km from Pahalgam and 14 km from Baltal.