Fresh batch of over 6,500 pilgrims leaves for Amarnath shrine

JAMMU — A fresh batch of more than 6,500 pilgrims left for the Amarnath shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas from here on Tuesday amid tight security, officials said.

On Monday, more than 23,000 devotees paid obeisance at the 3,880-metre high cave shrine, taking the total number of pilgrims past the 51,000 mark, officials said. More than 2,000 on-the-spot registrations of devotees were done on Monday, they said.

The fifth batch of 6,537 pilgrims left in 261 vehicles for the twin basecamps of Baltal and Palagam at 3.05 am and were escorted by security vehicles, they said.

While 4,431 pilgrims took the 48-km traditional Pahalgam route for their yatra, 2,106 pilgrims chose the shorter but steep 14-km Baltal route, they said.

With this, a total of 26,101 pilgrims have left the Jammu base camp for the valley since June 28 when Lt Governor Manoj Sinha flagged off the first batch.

The 52-day yatra formally began on June 29 and will conclude on August 19. — (PTI)