Second batch of 3500 pilgrims leave for Amarnath
The second batch of nearly 3500 pilgrims including 592 women and 160 Sadhus today left from here for the base camps in Kashmir valley to undertake the arduous yatra to the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath.
The 60-day annual pilgrimage was scheduled to start from the twin routes of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district this morning but got delayed due to heavy rains.
Wide parts of Jammu and Kashmir were lashed by light to heavy rains since last evening, also triggering a landslide on Jammu-Srinagar national highway near Peera.
However, timely action by the concerned authorities made the road traffic worthy.
After getting road clearance, the second batch of 3434 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar base camp here for Kashmir in the early hours, officials said, adding they are expected to reach the base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal in the valley later in the day.
They said while 2638 pilgrims including 449 women, two children and 160 Sadhus opted for the traditional 36-km Pahalgam route, 796 pilgrims including 143 women and a child chose the 12-km shortest Baltal route.
The pilgrims left Jammu in a fleet of 114 heavy and light motor vehicles under tight security arrangements, taking the number of pilgrims who left for the valley from the base camp here since yesterday to 6429.
Over two lakh pilgrims have so far registered for the yatra which is scheduled to conclude on August 26 coinciding with the ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival.