Over 9,000 pilgrims pay obeisance at Amarnath

Jammu/ Srinagar, Jul 13 (PTI) Over 9,000 pilgrims today paid obeisance at the Amarnath shrine in south Kashmir taking the total number of yatris who visited the holy cave since the pilgrimage began last month to over 1.77 lakh.

A fresh batch of around 3,500 pilgrims escorted by the CRPF and the police have left Jammu in a convoy of 150 vehicles for Baltal and Pahalgam base camps of the shrine this morning, officials said.

“Today, on the 15th day of the yatra, 9,197 yatris paid obeisance at the holy cave and, cumulatively, since the beginning of the pilgrimage, 1,77,134 yatris had ‘darshan’ at the shrine,” an official spokesman said.

Over 2,500 pilgrims are waiting at Bhagwati Nagar base camp for their onward journey to Amarnath.

A 44-year-old pilgrim from Maharashtra died near the cave shrine today, taking the death toll in the ongoing yatra to 19, which includes seven pilgrims killed in the Anantnag terrorist attack on Monday night.

Amid multi-tier security, the 40-day-long Amarnath yatra began from Jammu on June 28.

The government has mobilised a heavy security blanket of over 35,000 to 40,000 troops including the police, the Army, the BSF and the CRPF.

This year’s yatra will be eight days shorter than last year’s and will conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7.

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