Second batch of 3434 pilgrims leaves from Jammu, yatra delayed due to heavy rains

Jammu/Srinagar, Jun 28: A second batch of 3434 pilgrims on Thursday left the Bhagwati Nagar based Yatri Niwas base camp here for the Kashmir valley to perform pilgrimage to Shri Amarnath Cave Shrine in South of Himalayas amid tight security arrangements.
Due to heavy rain the Amarnath yatra was delayed, on the first day of two month long annual pilgrimage, which commenced from Thursday, official sources said.
Chanting ‘Bam Bam Bhole’, the pilgrims left the base camp in a cavalcade of 114 vehicles early morning at around 0400 hours. An official said that the pilgrims were comprised of 2679 males, 592 females, three children, 158 sadhus and two transgender.
He further added that 114 vehicles including 65 buses and 49 light motor vehicles ferried the yatries. Meanwhile, CRPF convoy escorted the pilgrims to the Kashmir valley.
There was heavy rain on both traditional Pahalgam and shortest Baltal tracks since early Thursday morning making them slippery, official sources said.
However, a number of pilgrims left Nunwan Phalgam base camp for Chandanwari, the last motorable halting station on traditional route. Sources said if weather improves, yatris will be allowed to undertake the foot journey towards the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.
“Once we receive that tracks are safe for undertaking the foot journey we will allow pilgrims to leave for holy cave,” they said. About 3000 pilgrims, including women and Sadhus arrived at Nunwan Palahgam and Baltal base camp from Jammu on Wednesday evening.
However, there were already several thousand pilgrims at both the camps.
Thousands of security forces, including sharp shooters have been deployed on both sides of Baltal and Pahalgam tracks to ensure safe and peaceful pilgrims this year when the militancy related incidents have witnessed several fold increase.