Jammu, July 23: At least 4649 yatris leaving from Jammu to the Pahalgam base camp had to return due to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway on Saturday.
A fresh batch of 7053 Amarnath yatris left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp on Saturday for the twin base camps in the Ganderbal district but over half of them were forced to return due to highway closure, officials said.
The yatris left in 243 vehicles escorted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), they said.
As many as 2504 yatris headed to the Baltal base camp were the first to leave in 88 vehicles, followed by the second convoy of 155 vehicles carrying 4649 yatris to the Pahalgam base camp, the officials said.
However, the convoy headed to Pahalgam returned to the Bhagwati Nagar base camp as the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed due to landslides triggered by rains.
The convoy headed to Baltal was halted at Ramban and the yatris were housed in the Yatri Niwas camp.
Heavy overnight rains in Jammu had triggered landslides and mudslides.
The Amarnath Yatra was suspended from Jammu on Friday due to inclement weather and the bad condition of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
The 43-day Amarnath yatra to the 3880-meter high cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas commenced on June 29.
So far, over 2.22 lakh yatris have offered prayers at the cave shrine, housing the naturally-forming ice stalagmite, the officials said.
The yatra is scheduled to end on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
So far, 35 people, mostly yatris, have died during the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.
This excludes 15 yatris who died in a flash flood near the cave shrine on July 8, the officials said.