Amarnath yatra crosses 5 lakh pilgrim mark

Srinagar: Over five lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance at the 3,880-metre high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas since the commencement of the religious voyage last month.

"As many as 5,00,586 yatris have visited the cave shrine housing the naturally formed ice-shivlingam since the commencement of the yatra on June 25," an official of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board said.

He said the number of pilgrims having `darshan` at the cave shrine crossed the five lakh mark last evening. A record number of 6.35 lakh pilgrims offered prayers at the cave shrine last year, while the previous record for the highest number of pilgrims in one year was set in 2005 when 5.31 lakh yatris visited the shrine.

So far, a total of 83 people – 80 pilgrims, two porters and an Army jawan – died, mostly due to cardiac arrest, during the yatra which is scheduled to end on August 2, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival.