A fresh batch of 3,419 pilgrims left Jammu on Thursday for the Kashmir Valley to perform the annual Amarnath Yatra. An official said so far over 1,33,000 pilgrims have performed the yatra in the past two weeks.
“Since it began on June 28, some 1,33,481 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the holy cave shrine,” he said. On Wednesday alone, 15,696 yatris performed puja.
Of the 3,419 pilgrims, who left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in two escorted convoys of 125 vehicles for the valley, 1,202 proceeded on the Baltal trek, while 2,217 headed for Pahalgam base camp, the official added.
Till 9 July, 1,04,018 pilgrims had performed ‘darshan’ at the 3,880-metre-high shrine, an official spokesman said.
Earlier this week, Governor N N Vohra, who is also the chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), had taken a review meeting of the yatra.
At the meeting, he was informed that during the initial eleven days since the start of the yatra on June 28, the movement of pilgrims from Jammu to Kashmir valley was suspended on three occasions due to rains and slippery track conditions on both the yatra routes and landslides and shooting stones between Railpathri and Brarimarg which resulted in accumulation of a large number of yatris at Baltal and Nunwan base camps, the spokesman said.
He said on one occasion, the movement of pilgrims was stopped from Jammu to the base camp of Baltal and Nunwan because of security concerns.
The Governor was further informed that keeping in view the safety of the yatris, the pilgrimage remained totally suspended on three occasions June 30, July 4 and July 5 from both Baltal as well as Pahalgam routes and remained suspended twice from Baltal route on June 26 and July 6 because of landslides, slippery tracks and shooting stones caused by incessant rainfall, the spokesman said.
This year’s Amarnath Yatra will end on August 26 coinciding with Shravan Purnima festival.
(With agency inputs)