IANS

 More than 1.50 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance at the Amarnath cave shrine in the last seven days as another batch of 5,871 devotees left for the Valley on Saturday. 

Officials of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), which manages the affairs of the annual pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine, said that over 1.50 lakh pilgrims have performed the ongoing Yatra in seven days so far.

"Another batch of 5,871 Yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu for the Valley today in two escorted convoys. Of these, the first escorted convoy of 2,112 Yatris left at 2.50 a.m. in 110 vehicles for the north Kashmir Baltal base camp while another escorted convoy of 134 vehicles carrying 3,759 Yatris left at 3.50 a.m. for south Kashmir Nunwan (Pahalgam) base camp," the officials said.

"The Yatra has been going on smoothly without any interruption since it started on June 29," they added.

The weather department has forecast generally cloudy weather on both the Yatra routes with the possibility of light rain and thundershowers during the day.

Yatris take either the 48 km long traditional Pahalgam-Cave Shrine route or the shorter 14 km long Baltal-Cave shrine route to perform the Yatra.

Those using the Pahalgam route take four days to reach the cave shrine while those taking the Baltal route reach back to the base camp the same day after having 'Darshan' inside the cave shrine.

The cave shrine situated 3,888 metres above sea level houses an ice stalagmite structure that wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon.

Devotees believe that the ice stalagmite structure symbolises the mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

Extensive arrangements for security have been made this year all along the nearly 300 km long Jammu-Srinagar highway, at the twin Yatra routes, at the two base camps and at the cave shrine to ensure smooth and incident-free pilgrimage.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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