Amarnath pilgrimage progressing smoothly, fresh batches leave

SRINAGAR, JUL 16: Fresh batches of pilgrims today left Nunwan Pahalgam and Batal base camps for the holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, where so far about 1.55 lakh Yatris have paid obeisance since the commencement of the 40-day-long pilgrimage from June 29.
A fresh batch of 3603 pilgrims, including women and Sadhus, left Bhagwati Nagar, Jammu base camp for base camps in Kashmir early this morning under unprecedented security arrangements.
The Yatra was progressing smoothly from both shortest Baltal and traditional Pahalgam tracks and weather was pleasant, a Yatra official said.
However, the sky was cloudy from Baltal side. He said on the 17th day yesterday 8,638 devotees paid obeisance at the Holy Cave. With this a total of 1, 95,491 Yatris had the Darshan at the Holy Cave so far.
Majority of the pilgrims had since returned to their homes. Meanwhile, pilgrims, who had night halt at Panjtarni, 2 km from the cave shrine on traditional route are paying obeisance since early this morning.
Fresh batch of Yatris left Baltal for the cave shrine early this morning to reach the cave shrine. The pilgrims are expected to reach the cave shrine, situated at 14000 feet in the afternoon after covering 14 km hilly terrain on foot.
Majority of the pilgrims will try to return to base camp after paying obeisance while other will have night stay in the camp near the cave shrine. Meanwhile, pilgrims who had reached the cave from traditional track also preferred to return via Baltal track.
Similarly fresh batch of pilgrims who had night halt at Nunwan Pahalgam base camp also left for Chandanwari, the last motorable halting station on the traditional track.
Meanwhile, pilgrims who had night halt at different halting stations on the traditional route have also started their foot journey towards the cave shrine this morning. (AGENCIES)