Amarnath Yatra touches 5.5 lakh mark
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, July 24: The 46-day-long annual pilgrimage to Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir on Sunday broke all previous records, with number of pilgrims visiting the shrine exceeding 5.5 lakh figures.
In 2008, 5.34 lakh pilgrims had visited the cave shrine, situated at 13500 feet above sea level. The Yatra commenced on June 29 would continue till Raksha Bandhan, which falls on August 13.
Official sources told Greater Kashmir that the height of the ‘ice lingam’ at the cave shrine has reduced to 4-feet from nearly 12-feet due to unprecedented rush of pilgrims.
“We are expecting that over seven lakhs pilgrims will visit the shrine this year,” spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shanker, who was appointed as head of sub-committee constituted by Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) to decide on the duration of Yatra, told reporters on the sidelines of a function here on Saturday evening.
“This year the yatra has already surpassed the previous record as 5.34 lakh pilgrims visited the holy cave as peace prevailed in the Valley in comparison to last year,” he said and stressed on improvement of medicare facilities for pilgrims enroute to cave from next year in view of 82 deaths,
He also stressed said that the annual Amarnath pilgrimage in future should continue for two months in view of the huge rush this year provided fair weather conditions.
Official sources said that over 12,000 pilgrims paid obeisance at the holy shrine till the last reports poured in.
A fresh batch 1504 devotees left for Kashmir amid heavy rains from the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas Base Camp here.
“As heavy rains lashed the winter capital early morning, a batch of 1504 pilgrims comprising 895 males, 297 females, 37 children and 277 sadhus left for Amarnath in a convoy of 50 vehicles at around 5:00 am amid tight security arrangements,” police control room officials said.
He said 35 state road transport corporation buses, 5 private and 10 light motor vehicles left for the cave from the base camp.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 24 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 24 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 25 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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