Over 4,700 pilgrims leave for Amarnath cave shrine from Jammu
Over 4,700 pilgrims leave for Amarnath cave shrine from Jammu

JAMMU: On Thursday, a new group of over 4,703 Amarnath Yatra pilgrims amid torrential rain to travel from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp to the twin base camps of Baltal and Pahalgam in the Ganderbal region of central Kashmir, said officials.

They said, the pilgrims left in a convoy of 156 vehicles that the Central Reserve Security Force (CRPF) was accompanying. According to the officials, the first convoy to depart the Bhagwati Nagar camp consisted of 2,001 pilgrims travelling to Baltal in 54 cars, followed by a second convoy of 102 vehicles bringing 2,702 pilgrims to Pahalgam. With this, 1,24,714 pilgrims have altogether departed the Jammu base camp for the Valley since June 29.

Since Friday night, there have been torrential downpours in the Jammu region, raising fears of flash floods, mudslides, and landslides.

On June 30, the 43-day Amarnath Yatra began at the 3,880-meter-high cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas.  Around 2.20 lakh pilgrims have already prayed at the cave sanctuary where the naturally formed ice Shiv lingam is kept, the official said.

The journey is expected to come to a finish on August 11 in honour of Raksha Bandhan.

Thus far 35  people mostly pilgrims, have died during the ongoing Amarnath Yatra, the majority of whom were pilgrims. This does not include the 15 pilgrims who perished on July 8 in a flash flood close to the cave sanctuary.

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