Another batch of 5,124 pilgrims leave for Amarnath

Another batch of 5,124 pilgrims leave for Amarnath

Hindu pilgrims leave the holy cave of Lord Shiva after worshipping in Amarnath. Reuters photo

The seventh batch, comprising of 5,124 pilgrims,  on Saturday left Bhagwati Nagar base camp here amid tight security arrangements to pay obeisance at the 3,880-metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said.

The pilgrims, including 864 women, 187 sadhus (saints) and 19 children, left in a convoy of 226 vehicles under tight security cover and will be reaching the twin base camps of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and  Baltal in Ganderbal district later in the day, they said.

Over 70,000 yatris have so far offered their prayers at the cave shrine, housing the naturally formed ice-shivlingam, since the commencement of the 46-day yatra on July 1 from the twin routes -- traditional 36-km Pahalgam and 14-km Baltal.

Of the latest batch, the officials said, 3,130, including 426 women, 19 children and 187 sadhus, are performing yatra through the traditional route, while 1,994 pilgrims, including 438 women and 38 sadhus, have preferred the Baltal track.

The yatra is scheduled to end on August 15 coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival.