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    Jammu KashmirPilgrims to Amarnath Cave crosses 1 Lakh mark

    Pilgrims to Amarnath Cave crosses 1 Lakh mark


    30,000 pay obeisance Wednesay,  5,700 leave for Holy Cave

    Srinagar, Jul 3: More than 30,000 pilgrims paid obeisance at the Amarnath cave shrine in the Himalayas on Wednesday, taking the total number of devotees who have had ‘darshan' of the naturally formed ice lingam so far to over one lakh, officials said.

    The Amarnath Yatra began on Saturday from the twin tracks — the traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag and the 14-km shorter but steeper Baltal route in Ganderbal.

    “A total of 30,586 pilgrims performed the yatra on Wednesday and had darshan of Baba Bholenath on the fifth day of the annual yatra,” an official said.

    With this, the number of pilgrims who have visited the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine has now reached 1,05,282, according to the officials.

    They said 21,893 male pilgrims, 5,858 female pilgrims, 394 sadhus and one sadhvi were among those who paid obeisance at the cave shrine. As many as 1,991 security personnel, four transgender persons and 445 children also performed the pilgrimage.

    Deaths of two devotees — a sevadar from and a pilgrim from Jharkhand — have been reported during this year's yatra so far. Both of them suffered a cardiac arrest on the Baltal route, the officials said.

    Meanwhile, a fresh batch of more than 5,700 pilgrims left for the Amarnath shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas from here on Wednesday, officials said.

    More than 74,000 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the 3,880-metre high cave shrine till Tuesday evening and over 2,500 on-the-spot registrations of devotees were done on Tuesday, they said.

    The sixth batch of 5,725 pilgrims left in 256 vehicles for the twin basecamps of Baltal and Pahalgam at 3.05 am and were escorted by security vehicles, they said.

    While 3,211 pilgrims took the 48-km traditional Pahalgam route for their yatra, 2,514 pilgrims chose the shorter but steep 14-km Baltal route, they said.

    With this, a total of 31,826 pilgrims have left the Jammu base camp for the valley since June 28 when Lt Governor Manoj Sinha flagged off the first batch.

    The 52-day yatra formally began on June 29 and will conclude on August 19.

    More than 4.5 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance at the cave shrine last year.

    To monitor all the logistics, conditions, and activities, a surveillance system has been set up at Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC), where more than 50 officials from various departments have been deputed to provide real-time assistance to the pilgrims, they said.

    Besides, a helpline — 01942740003 — has been set up for any exigencies. In addition, two more landlines — 01942496240 and 01942496247 — are also functional, they said.

    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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