Over 2100 yatris leave Jammu for cave shrine

Amarnath Yatris on way to the cave shrine in south Kashmir's Anantnag.
Amarnath Yatris on way to the cave shrine in south Kashmir's Anantnag. File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Jammu, July 26: A fresh batch of over 2100 yatris Tuesday left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here to offer prayers at the 3880-meter high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said.

A total of 2189 yatris, the lowest to date this year, formed the 26th batch that left in a convoy of 73 vehicles amid heavy security of the Central Reserve Police Force this morning, they said.

The officials said 815 yatris heading for Baltal were the first to leave the Jammu camp in 23 vehicles, followed by the second convoy of 49 vehicles carrying 1374 yatris for Pahalgam.

The number of yatris visiting the Amarnath Cave has drastically fallen in the past two days.

However, the reason is yet to be ascertained, officials said.

The annual 43-day yatra commenced from the twin base camps – the traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in south Kashmir's Anantnag and the 14-km shorter Baltal route in central Kashmir's Ganderbal - on June 30.

Over 2.30 lakh pilgrims had offered their prayers at the Amarnath Cave, housing the naturally formed ice-stalagmite, officials said.

With this, 1,37,774 yatris have left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for Kashmir since June 29.

The yatra is scheduled to end on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

Thirty-six yatris died during the ongoing yatra while another 15 yatris died in the flash floods near the Amarnath cave shrine on July 1.

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