Over 2 lakh perform Amaranth Yatra in 10 days

by IANS |

Jammu, July 9 (IANS) More than two lakh devotees had 'darshan' inside the holy Amarnath cave shrine during the last 10 days as another batch of 5,433 Yatris left for the Valley on Tuesday, officials said.

Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board officials said that more than two lakh Yatris have performed the ongoing Yatra during the last 10 days since it started on June 29.

"Another batch of 5,433 Yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in the morning today in two escorted convoys for the Valley."

"The first escorted convoy carrying 1,971 Yatris in 89 vehicles left at 3:13 a.m. on Tuesday for north Kashmir's Baltal base camp.

"A second escorted convoy carrying 3,462 Yatris in 124 vehicles left at 4:03 a.m. on Tuesday for south Kashmir's Nunwan (Pahalgam) base camp," officials added.

The Meteorological Department has forecast partially cloudy weather on both Yatra routes, with the possibility of light rain during the day.

Yatris take either the 48-km-long traditional Pahalgam cave shrine route or the shorter 14-km-long Baltal cave shrine route to perform the Yatra.

Those using the Pahalgam route take four days to reach the cave shrine, while those taking the Baltal route reach back to the base camp the same day after having 'darshan' inside the cave shrine.

The cave shrine, situated 3,888 metres above sea level, houses an ice stalagmite structure that wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon.

Devotees believe that the ice stalagmite structure symbolises the mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

Extensive security arrangements have been made this year all along the nearly 300-km-long Jammu-Srinagar highway, at the twin Yatra routes, the two base camps, and the cave shrine to ensure a smooth and incident-free Yatra.

More than 124 'langars' (community kitchens) have been set up along both the routes and also at transit camps and the cave shrines.

More than 7,000 'sevadars' (volunteers) are serving the Yatris during this year's Yatra.

To manage the rush of the Yatris, the Railways have decided to add additional trains starting July 3.

Helicopter services are also available for the Yatris on both routes.

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