Over 20,000 performed the ongoing Amarnath Yatra on 17th day as another batch of 6,225 Yatris left Jammu for the Valley on Tuesday.
Officials said since this year’s Amarnath Yatra started on July 1, so far over 2.50 lakh pilgrims have performed the Yatra.
“Another batch of 6,225 Yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu today morning in an escorted convoy.
“Of these, 2511 are going to north Kashmir Baltal base camp while 3,714 are going to Pahalgam base camp,” officials said.
Meanwhile three pilgrims died on Monday taking the number of pilgrims killed during the present Yatra to 30.
Officials said that of the three people who died on Monday, one belonged to Uttar Pradesh, another to Rajasthan and the third to Madhya Pradesh.
While two died of natural causes, the exact reason behind the death of the 3rd pilgrim is still being ascertained.
Yatris approach the Himalayan cave shrine either from the traditional south Kashmir Pahalgam route which involves an uphill trek of 43 kilometres 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, 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.