12th batch of 5,395 pilgrims leaves Jammu for Amarnath
Amid tight security, a batch of 5,395 Amarnath pilgrims left a base camp here on Thursday for the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir.
As many as 13,555 pilgrims paid obeisance to the ice lingam of Lord Shiva at the holy cave shrine till Thursday night. With this, the total number of pilgrims who have paid obeisance at the cave shrine during past 11 days of the yatra has reached 1,44,058.
Over 1.75 lakh pilgrims from across the country have so far registered themselves for the 46-day long pilgrimage, which takes place through the 36-km Pahalgam track in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district and the shorter 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district.
The 12th batch comprising 5,395 pilgrims -- including 4,129 males, 1,115 females, 29 children and 122 seers -- left in a fleet of 207 vehicles from Bhagwati Nagar base camp here Friday morning for twin base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir, they added.
For the Pahalgam route, 3,429 pilgrims left the base camp, while 1,966 pilgrims for Baltal left in 134 and 73 buses and light motor vehicles, which were escorted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), officials said.
With this, a total of 58,427 pilgrims have so far left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp since the commencement of the yatra from Jammu on June 30, a day ahead of the official start of the pilgrimage
The yatra to the holy cave commenced on July 1 from both Baltal and Pahalgam routes in Kashmir Valley.
Multi-tier security arrangements have been made for smooth and successful conduct of the yatra concluding on August 15.
As many as 2.85 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave last year, while the number of pilgrims was 3.52 lakh in 2015, 3,20 lakh in 2016 and 2.60 lakh in 2017.