About 11,000 pilgrims leave base camps for holy cave

Srinagar, July 10: About 11,000 pilgrims on Tuesday left Baltal and Nunwan Pahalgam base camps for the holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.
Over 1,04,000 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the holy cave.
A fresh batch of pilgrims, including women and Sadhus, left Jammu early this morning for Baltal and Nunwan base camps in Kashmir.
The pilgrimage was going on smoothly though it was affected due to landslides and slippery track conditions following rain.
Official said that 9,609 pilgrims on Monday paid obeisance on the 12th day of 60-day-long annual pilgrimage to holy shrine till last night.
The pilgrims, who had night halt at different halting stations, are reaching the cave shrine to pay obeisance since early Tuesday morning, the official added.
Over 5,000 pilgrims, including women and sadhus, who had arrived from Jammu on Monday, left Nunwan Pahalgam base camp early this morning for Chandanwari, the last motorable halting station on traditional yatra route. Meanwhile, pilgrims, who had night halt at Chandanwari and other halting stations, also left for holy cave early this morning, the official said.
They said about 6,000 pilgrims also left Baltal base camp for the holy cave early this morning. The pilgrims are scheduled to reach the cave shrine in the afternoon after covering 14-km-long hilly shortest track. Majority of the pilgrims, who had night halt in the camp near cave shrine after paying obeisance, have also started their return journey to base camp.
In a review meeting held here on Monday evening, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Umang Narula and Additional CEO Bhupinder Kumar informed Governor N N Vohra, Chairman of the Board, that on the 12th day of the ongoing Yatra, 9,606 pilgrims paid obeisance at the Holy Cave.
He was informed that till date, 1,04,018 pilgrims had performed Darshan at the Holy Cave.
The CEO further informed that during the initial 11 days since the start of the Yatra, the movement of pilgrims from Jammu to Kashmir Valley was suspended on three occasions due to rains and slippery track conditions on both the Yatra routes and landslides and shooting stones between Railpathri and Brarimarg following which a large number of Yatris were stranded at Baltal and Nunwan Base Camps.
However, on one occasion, the movement of pilgrims was stopped from Jammu to the Base Camp of Baltal and Nunwan because of security concerns.
The Governor was further informed that keeping in view the safety of the pilgrims, the Yatra remained totally suspended on three occasions on June 30, July 4, 5 from both Baltal as well as Pahalgam routes. The yatra remained suspended twice from Baltal route on June 29 and July 6 because of landslides, slippery tracks and shooting stones caused by incessant rainfall.
The CEO and the Additional CEO have been interacting daily with the officials of all the agencies engaged in the conduct of Yatra and particularly inquiring about the arrangements at the shrine and at all the Yatra camps.
The CEO further informed that 9 Mobile Rescue Teams (MRTs) deployed on various stretches of the track are playing a crucial role in assisting the safe movement of Yatris in the vulnerable landslide and falling stone areas, particularly between Brarimarg and Railpathri.
He further informed that SMS messages to the registered Yatris are being sent to make them aware about the arduous nature of Yatra and, from today, a message in Hindi has also been forwarded, cautioning them to be careful of shooting stones while moving on the track through bulk SMSes.