Over 13,000 have performed the ongoing Amaranth Yatra on its 4th day while another batch of 6,107 pilgrims left Jammu for Kashmir on Wednesday.
Officials said over 13,000 Yatris had ‘Darshan’ inside the Amaranth cave shrine on Tuesday, and since the Yatra started on July 1 a total of over 50,000 had performed the pilgrimage so far.
“Another batch of 6,107 Yatris including 4,680 males, 1203 females, 31 children, 154 Sadhus and 39 Sadhvis left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy of 244 vehicles for the Valley this morning,” officials said.
Yatris approach the Himalayan cave shrine either from the traditional south Kashmir Pahalgam route which involves an uphill trek of 43 Kms from Pahalgam base camp or from the north Kashmir Baltal base camp which involves 13 Kms uphill trek.
Those using the traditional Pahalgam route take 3-4 days to reach the cave shrine while those using the Baltal route return to the base camp the same day after having ‘Darshan’ inside the cave shrine situated 3888 metres above the sea-level.
Helicopter services are also available for Yatris on both routes.
The cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that devotees believe symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva. The ice stalagmite structure wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon.
This year’s 62-day long Amarnath Yatra started on July 1 and will end on August 31 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.
To protect the pilgrims from high altitude sickness, authorities have banned. All junk food at the free community kitchens called the ‘Langars’ that have been. Set up along both the routes of the Yatra. The banned items include all bottled drinks, halwai items, fried foods and tobacco based products.