A fresh batch of nearly 2,500 pilgrims today left for the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said. The yatra commenced from the twin tracks of Baltal in Ganderbal and Pahalgam in Anantnag district on June 28 and till last evening 1,87,375 pilgrims had visited the cave shrine to pay obeisance.
The yatra is expected to cross the two lakh mark either by this evening or tomorrow, depending on the rush of pilgrims, the officials said. They said the fresh batch of pilgrims including 537 women and 100 ‘sadhus’ left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for Kashmir in a convoy of 86 light and heavy vehicles and a motorcycle under tight security in the early hours.
The officials said 715 pilgrims including 203 women, who have opted for the shorter 12-km Baltal route, were the first to leave the camp at around 0250 hours followed by 1,740 pilgrims including 334 women and 100 ‘sadhus’ who boarded 60 vehicles and a motorcycle for the traditional 36-km Pahalgam track. The yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 26 coinciding with the ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival.