Over 1.73 lakh perform Amarnath Yatra in 13 days

Officials said 1,73,978 Yatris had Darshan inside the holy Cave shrine during the last 13 days since the Yatra started on July 1 this year.
Over 1.73 lakh perform Amarnath Yatra in 13 days

Another batch of pilgrims left Jammu on Sunday for theValley as over 1.73 lakh Yatris performed the ongoing Amarnath Yatra during thelast 13 days.

Officials said 1,73,978 Yatris had Darshan inside the holyCave shrine during the last 13 days since the Yatra started on July 1 thisyear.

Police said another batch of 7,993 Yatris left BhagwatiNagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu in two escorted convoys for the Valley today.

"Of these, 2,723 are going to Baltal base camp while5,270 are going to Pahalgam base camp," police said.

Situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level in KashmirHimalayas, the Cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that symbolisesmythical powers of Lo rd Shiva according to the devotees.

The ice stalagmite structure waxes and wanes with the phasesof the moon.

Pilgrims approach the Cave shrine either from the shorter14-Kms long Baltal trek or through the longer 45-Kms long Pahalgam trek.

Helicopter services are also available for pilgrims at boththe base camps.

Local Muslims have always lent a helping hand to ensure thattheir Hindu brethren are able to perform the Yatra with ease and convenience.

Acknowledging this, state governor, Satya Pal Malik said thesmooth and peaceful conduct of the Amarnath Yatra has been possible because ofthe support and active engagement of the local Muslims.

The Cave shrine was discovered in 1,850 by a MuslimShepherd, Buta Malik.

Legend says a Sufi saint rewarded the shepherd with a bag ofcharcoal that turned out to be gold.

Descendants of the shepherd have received a portion of theofferings at the Cave shrine for over 150 years.

This year's Amarnath Yatra will end on August 15 coincidingwith the Shravan Purnima festival.

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