Over 17,000 perform Amaranth Yatra in Kashmir

 Over 17,000 pilgrims performed the Amarnath Yatra on its third day as another batch of 6,597 Yatris left Jammu Kashmir for the Valley on Tuesday.

Officials said that over 17,000 pilgrims performed the Amarnath Yatra. On Monday while another batch of 6,597 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu Kashmir this morning. For the Valley in an escorted convoy.

“Of these, 4975 are males, 1429 are females, 33 children, 151 Sadhus and 9 Sadhvis,” 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 Km 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, the 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.

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