Five lakh perform Yatra
Srinagar, July 16: Around 500,000 pilgrims have so far performed this year's Amarnath Yatra that began June 25, an official said Monday. Eighty-six pilgrims have died during this period.
“With 17,174 pilgrims having 'Darshan' at the holy Amarnath cave yesterday, the total number of pilgrims who performed the Yatra so far has gone up to 482,598. The Yatra started here June 25 and 86 pilgrims died due to natural causes till today," said a senior official of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) which manages the affairs of the Hindu pilgrimage.
Officially, only 350,000 pilgrims had registered for this year's Yatra from different places of the country.
The pilgrims use both the north Kashmir Baltal and the south Kashmir Pahalgam route to reach the Himalayan Cave shrine at 13,000 feet which houses an ice stalagmite structure believed by devotees to symbolize the mythological powers of Lord Shiva.
While the uphill trek from the Baltal base camp to the cave is 14 km long making it possible for the pilgrims to return back to the base camp after the 'Darshan' the same day, the Pahalgam trek is 37 km long passing through Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarni halts.
Pilgrims take four days to cover the one-way distance from Pahalgam base camp to the cave shrine.
This year's Yatra will end Aug 2, coinciding with the Hindu festival of Shravan Purnima. IANS
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 17 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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