Jammu, July 16 (IANS) Over 1.90 lakh pilgrims performed the ongoing Amarnath Yatra in 15 days as another batch of 3,967 yatris left Jammu for the Valley on Tuesday.
Officials of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), which manages the affairs of the annual Hindu pilgrimage to the Cave shrine, said since it started on July 1 this year, 1,93,545 pilgrims had darshan inside the Cave shrine over the past 15 days.
Police said another batch of 3,967 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu for the Valley in two escorted convoys today morning.
“Of these, 1,615 Yatris are going to Baltal base camp while 2,352 are going to Pahalgam base camp,” police said.
Situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level in Kashmir Himalayas, the Cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva, according to the devotees.
The ice structure waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.
Pilgrims approach the Cave shrine either through the longer 45-kilometre long Pahalgam route or the shorter 14-kilometre long Baltal route.
Those using the Baltal route return to the base camp the same day after performing the Yatra.
Helicopter services are available for the pilgrims at both the base camps.
Local Muslims are lending a helping hand to ensure that their Hindu brethren can perform the Yatra with ease and convenience to uphold the centuries old tradition of Kashmir, abode of saints and Sufis.
So far, 16 pilgrims have died during the Yatra due to natural causes, according to the officials of the SASB.
This year’s Amarnath Yatra will conclude on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.