7000 pilgrims leave for cave shrine on Day 4

More than 7000 pilgrims have left for Amarnath cave shrine from Baltal base camp on the fourth day of yatra on Thursday, officials said.

Dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, the Amarnath cave shrine is located at 13,000 feet above the sea level. Baltal route in Ganderbal district is the shorter of the two routes to the shrine. The other being Pahalgam route in Anantnag district.

Deputy commissioner Ganderbal Hashmat Ali Khan said that the yatra is progressing in a smooth manner.

Meanwhile, the fifth batch of 5,522 pilgrims left Jammu for the cave shrine on Thursday.

As many as 35,000 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the shrine till Thursday afternoon, officials said.

Thursday’s batch has the highest number of pilgrims. Previously, the highest number of 4,823 pilgrims had left Jammu for the holy cave shrine on Tuesday.

As many as 2.85 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave shrine last year, while the numbers were 3.52 lakh in 2015, 3.20 lakh in 2016 and 2.60 lakh in 2017.

Over 25 pilgrims complained of breathlessness at 13,000 feet along the Baltal route. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel immediately administered oxygen to them.