11038 pilgrims pay obeisance, fresh batches leave for Holy Cave

GJ REPORT JAMMU/SRINAGAR, JUL 14: On the 17th day of the ongoing Shri Amarnathji Yatra, 11,038 Yatris paid obeisance at the Holy Cave. Till date 1,76,044 Yatris had the darshan of the Shivling at the Holy Cave while fresh batch of over 3,000 pilgrims today left Jammu for the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas. The 60-day Yatra commenced from the twin routes of Baltal in Ganderbal and Pahalgam in Anantnag districts on June 28 and till yesterday over 1.65 lakh pilgrims from across the country visited the cave shrine. “The fresh batch of 3,048 pilgrims, including 623 women and 144 Sadhus, left Jammu in 112 vehicles for the twin base camps in the Valley under tight security in the wee hours,” a police official said. He said while 1,973 pilgrims, including 310 women and 144 Sadhus, were heading for the Nunwan base camp along the 36-km Pahalgam track, 1,075 Yatris have opted for the shortest 12-km Baltal route. They will be reaching the base camp later in the day. The yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 26 coinciding with ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival. Meanwhile, fresh batches of pilgrims on Saturday left Baltal and Nunwan Pahalgam base camps for the holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, where over 1.65 lakh Yatris have paid obeisance since June 28, the commencement of the 60-day-long pilgrimage. The annual pilgrimage was progressing smoothly, official sources said here on Saturday. They said on the 16th day on Friday 13,083 Yatris had paid obeisance. With this, a total of 1,65,006 pilgrims, including women and Sadhus, from different parts of the country had darshan of the self made ice Shivalingam since June 28 when the Yatra commenced from both traditional Pahalgam and shortest Baltal tracks. Since early this morning more pilgrims are reaching the cave shrine to pay obeisance, they added. A fresh batch of over 2,800 pilgrims left Baltal base camp for the holy cave shrine early Saturday morning. The pilgrims are scheduled to pay obeisance at the cave shrine after covering the 14-km-long hilly track on foot this afternoon. Meanwhile, pilgrims who had night halt at a camp after darshan yesterday have started their return journey to base camp this morning. Similarly, a fresh batch of pilgrims also left Nunwan Pahalgam base camp for Chandanwari, the first halting station on traditional track, which could be reached by vehicles also. Meanwhile, pilgrims who had night halt at Chandanwari and other halting station on the route have also started their journey on foot towards the cave shrine early this morning. Meanwhile, Two pilgrims died after suffering cardiac arrest on the Baltal route of the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, taking the toll in this year’s pilgrimage to 25, police said today. Pandik Panduraj (60), a resident of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, suffered cardiac arrest near the cave shrine this morning. He was rushed to the medical facility nearby where he was declared brought dead, a police official said. Another pilgrim, K L Salvi (59), from Udaipur in Rajasthan died due to cardiac arrest at Brarimarg along the Baltal route last night, the official said. (AGENCIES)