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    Jammu KashmirOver 25,000 pilgrims visit Amarnath cave shrine

    Over 25,000 pilgrims visit Amarnath cave shrine


    Srinagar, Jul 4: The number of pilgrims who paid obeisance to Lord Shiva at Amarnath Cave Shrine in South crossed the 1.30 lakh mark on Thursday, officials said.

    “Nearly 25,000 pilgrims performed the yatra on Thursday and had Darshan of Baba Bholenath on the sixth day of the annual yatra,” the officials said.

    They said the number of pilgrims who reached the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine now stands at 1,30,260.

    The officials said 16,667 male pilgrims, 5,367 female pilgrims, 520 Sadhus and two Sadhvis were among those who paid obeisance at the cave shrine.

    Over 2,000 security forces, seven transgenders and 354 children also performed the pilgrimage.

    As per the officials, there have been two deaths — a sevadar from and a pilgrim from Jharkhand — in this year's yatra. Both the deceased suffered cardiac arrest along the Baltal route in June.

    Early in the morning, despite heavy rains, a contingent of over 5,600 pilgrims set off from  towards the twin basecamps, Baltal and Palagam, of the Amarnath cave shrine on Thursday, officials said.

    More than 30,000 devotees offered prayers to the naturally formed ice lingam on Wednesday alone, bringing the total number of pilgrims to over one lakh, they said.

    The seventh batch of pilgrims included 4,487 men, 1,011 women, 10 children and 188 ‘sadhus' and ‘sadhvis' who departed at 3.13 am in 219 vehicles, under the escort of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp, the officials said.

    Of these, 3,668 pilgrims opted for the traditional 48 km Pahalgam route, while 2,028 chose the shorter but steeper 14 km Baltal route, they said.

    Since June 28, when Lt Governor Manoj Sinha flagged off the first batch, a total of 37, 522 pilgrims have left the  Jammu base camp for the yatra.

    The 52-day yatra officially commenced on June 29 from the twin basecamps in Kashmir and will conclude on August 19. Last year, more than 4.5 lakh pilgrims offered prayers at the cave shrine, located at at elevation of 3,880 metres.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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