Jammu: The number of pilgrims paying obeisance at the holy cave shrine of Amarnath of South Kashmir Himalayas has crossed the two lakh mark. "More than 4,000 yatris paid obeisance at the holy cave today, taking the total number of pilgrims this year to 2.01 lakh, who received darshan of the Shivling at the holy cave," an official of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board said.
He said Governor NN Vohra, who is also chairman of the board, held a meeting to review the latest status of the ongoing yatra, which commenced on June 28.
CEO of SASB Umang Narula and additional CEO Bhupinder Kumar informed the governor that due to the continuous rainfall overnight, the yatra was suspended from both Pahalgam and Baltal routes.
However, limited helicopter services operated from both Neelgrath and Pahlagam helipads.
Vohra reiterated his earlier directions to the officials to closely monitor the yatra, ensure effective coordination with all the agencies involved in the conduct of pilgrimage, and ensure safety and security of the yatris.
Meanwhile, the 17th batch of Amarnath pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp on Tuesday for the holy cave shrine. "A total of 2,201 pilgrims, including 544 women and 149 sadhus, left for Kashmir from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in a convoy of 74 vehicles, under tight security arrangements," a police official said.
He added that this was the 17th batch of pilgrims to leave the Bhagwati Nagar base camp, taking the total number of "yatris" undertaking the pilgrimage under security arrangements to 63,314.
Among the pilgrims in the latest batch, 1,344, including 238 women and 149 sadhus, would reach Pahalgam to take the 36-km traditional route to the cave shrine, while 857, including 306 women, would take the shorter (12-km) Baltal route, the police official said.
The 60-day annual "yatra" began on the twin routes of Baltal in Ganderbal and Pahalgam in Anantnag on June 28 and is scheduled to conclude on August 26, coinciding with "Raksha Bandhan". RC