Srinagar, July 31: Around 7,000 pilgrims performed the ongoing Amarnath Yatra on its 30th day as another batch of 1,550 pilgrims left Jammu for the Valley on Monday, officials said.
Officials added that around 7,000 pilgrims had 'darshan' inside the holy cave on the 30th day of the ongoing Amarnath Yatra on Sunday as another batch of 1,550 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu in an escorted convoy for the Valley on Monday.
"Today's batch of 1,550 pilgrims is the smallest to leave for the Valley since the Yatra started on July 1."
"The batch includes 1,165 male, 354 female, seven children, 19 Sadhus and five Sadhvis," officials said.
Till now, 36 pilgrims have died during this year's Yatra.
Pilgrims approach the Himalayan cave shrine either from the traditional south Kashmir Pahalgam route, which involves an uphill trek of 43 km from the Pahalgam base camp or from the north Kashmir Baltal base camp, which involves 14 km uphill trek.
Those using the traditional Pahalgam route take three to four days to reach the cave shrine while those using the Baltal route return to the base camp the same day after having 'darshan' inside the cave shrine situated 3,888 metre above the sea level.
Helicopter services are also available for Yatris on both routes.
The cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that devotees believe symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.
The ice stalagmite structure wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon.
This year's 62-day long Amarnath Yatra started on July 1 and will end on August 31 on Shravan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.
To protect the pilgrims from high altitude sickness, authorities have banned all junk food at the free community kitchens called the 'Langars' have been set up along both the routes of the Yatra.
The banned items include all bottled drinks, halwai items, fried foods and tobacco-based products.