Over 7,000 perform Amarnath Yatra on 28th day
With more than 3.77 Yatris having performed this year’s Amarnath Yatra so far, the pilgrim number has already surpassed last year’s figure of 3,65,751.
Despite inclement weather along the twin routes to the Amarnath cave shrine, more than 7,000 pilgrims had ‘darshan’ on the 28th day of the Yatra as another batch of 2,050 pilgrims left Jammu for the Valley on Saturday.
Flawless arrangements of security, management, and supervision made by the authorities this year for the Yatra is being widely praised.
Locals have been helping the Yatris perform the pilgrimage while the security forces are ensuring that the locals are not put to inconvenience because of the escorted Yatri convoys and regulation of traffic for this purpose on the twin routes of Baltal and Pahalgam.
Pilgrims approach the Himalayan cave shrine either from the traditional south Kashmir Pahalgam route, which involves an uphill trek of 43 kilometres from the Pahalgam base camp, or from the north Kashmir Baltal base camp, which involves a 14 Km uphill trek.
Those using the traditional Pahalgam route take 3-4 days to reach the cave shrine while those using the Baltal route return to the base camp the same day after having ‘darshan’ inside the cave shrine situated 3888 metres above sea level.
Helicopter services are also available for Yatris on both routes.
The cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that devotees believe symbolizes the mythical powers of Bhagwan Shiva. The ice stalagmite structure wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon.
This year’s 62-day-long Amarnath Yatra started on July 1 and will end on August 31 on Shravan Purnima coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival.
To protect the pilgrims from high altitude sickness, authorities have banned all junk food at the free community kitchens called the ‘Langars‘ that have been set up along both the routes of the Yatra.
The banned items include all bottled drinks, halwai items, fried foods, and tobacco-based products.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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