Fresh batches of yatris leave base camps for Amarnath cave shrine

Srinagar: Fresh batches of pilgrims on Thursday left Nunwan Pahalgam and Baltal base camps for the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas , where about 38,000 yatris had darshan of the self-made ice-Shivlingam so far.

An official said that weather is pleasant and yatra is progressing smoothly from both traditional Pahalgam and shortest Baltal tracks.

As many as 5,522 pilgrims in 235 vehicles—93 Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) and 142 Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs)—left Baghwati Nagar, Jammu, base camp for Baltal and Pahalgam base camps under unprecedented security arrangements. 

The authorities have already ordered suspension of train service between Qazigund-Banihal and banned civilian traffic movement on 97 km stretch highway .

He said a fresh batch of about 3,500 pilgrims, including women and sadhus left Nunwan Pahalgam base camp for Chandanwari, the last motorable halting station on traditional track. 

The pilgrims, who had night halt at different stations, including Chandanwari, on traditional route, left for next stations early this morning. 

He said about 5,500 pilgrims also left Baltal base camp for the holy cave early this morning. The pilgrims, including women, children and sadhus, will reach the holy cave after covering the distance on foot, he said. Helicopter service is also operating normally from both sides.

About 34,000 pilgrims had darshan of the ice-Lingam during the first two days. About 4,000 pilgrims, who had night halt at different halting stations, have darshan since early this morning. 

Majority of the pilgrims, who had darshan at the cave shrine, have left for their homes. However, some pilgrims are taking time to visit Dal Lake and other tourist places, including Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam before leaving for home.

He said 7,575 pilgrims, who had left Baltal and Pahalgam base camps for Jammu, have crossed Banihal.

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