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Over 5,400 Pilgrims Leave Jammu Camp For Amarnath Shrine

Over 5,400 Pilgrims Leave Jammu Camp For Amarnath Shrine

Over 1.52 lakh pilgrims have offered their prayers at the Amarnath cave shrine in the annual Amarnath Yatra, according to officials.

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Amarnath Yatra resumes Photo: PTI

Days after the Amarnath Yatra resumed after a brief suspension, the 16th batch of over 5,400 pilgrims on Friday morning left Jammu city for the twin base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir, officials said.   

The annual Amarnath Yatra was suspended from Jammu last Sunday due to bad weather. It was resumed on Monday. 

At least 16 people were killed at Baltal base camp area on last Friday in a flash flood triggered by a cloudburst.

The 43-day-long pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas commenced on June 30 from the twin tracks — the traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in south Kashmir's Anantnag district and 14-km shorter Baltal in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district.

A total of 5,461 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here in a convoy of 220 vehicles amid heavy Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) security, the officials said. 

They said 1,975 pilgrims heading for Baltal were the first to leave the Bhagwati Nagar camp in 86 vehicles around 3.30 am followed by a second convoy of 134 vehicles carrying 3,486 pilgrims for Pahalgam at 4.25 am.

With this, a total of 93,987 pilgrims have left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the Valley since June 29, the day the first batch of pilgrims was flagged off by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha. 

So far, over 1.52 lakh pilgrims had offered their prayers at the cave shrine, the officials said. It's scheduled to end on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. 

Five pilgrims died of heart attack and two porters died after they fell into a gorge on Nunwan-Chandanwari track in Kashmir on Thursday, according to officials. 

This year, Amarnath Yatra is taking place for the first time in three years. It was suspended in 2019 when the Union government scrapped Jammu and Kashmir's special status. In 2020 and 2021, the Amarnath Yatra could not take place because of Covid-19 pandemic.

(With PTI inputs)

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