Hundred pilgrims leave for holy cave, over 2 84 lakh pay obeisance

Srinagar, Aug 24: Hundred pilgrims left Baltal and Pahalgam base camps early Friday morning for holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, where so far, over 2.84 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance since the commencement of the 60-day-long annual pilgrimage from June 28.

The yatra will conclude on August 26 when the Chhari Mubarak, holy Silver Mace of Lord Shiva, will be taken inside the cave shrine for final puja. The Mace has reached Panjtarni from Sheshnag today where it will have two night halts before proceeding towards the cave in the morning of August 26.

A yatra official told media today that about 75 yatris, including sadhus, left Baltal base camp for the holy cave shrine early this morning. The yatris are expected to reach the cave shrine in the afternoon to pay obeisance.

Pilgrims, who paid obeisance yesterday, have started their return journey to base camp, he said.

He said a small group of pilgrims also left Nunwan Pahalgam base camp early this morning. The pilgrims will have to cover the distance and join the Chhari-Mubarak at Panjtarni on or before August 25 evening so that they could participate in the final puja.

Yatra from Pahalgam route will be closed from tomorrow and no yatri will be allowed from this route. However, yatris can undertake the pilgrimage from shortest Baltal track even on August 26.

The official said that 353 pilgrims paid obeisance at the cave shrine yesterday on the 57th day of the pilgrimage.

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