226 pilgrims leave for Amarnath cave shrine from Jammu
Jammu: A batch of 226 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here on Wednesday to pay obeisance at the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said.
The 43-day yatra commenced on June 30 from the twin base camps -- traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag and 14-km shorter Baltal in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district.
The 34th batch left in a convoy of nine vehicles amid heavy security of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), they said.
According to officials, 74 pilgrims heading for Baltal were the first to leave the Jammu base camp in three vehicles followed by the second convoy of six vehicles carrying 152 pilgrims for Pahalgam.
Officials attribute the fall in the number of pilgrims visiting the cave shrine to twin factors -- poor weather conditions and the yatra inching towards its conclusion.
A total of 1,43,919 pilgrims have left from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the Kashmir valley since June 29.
The yatra is scheduled to end on August 11, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.
A total of 36 people, mostly pilgrims, have died during the ongoing Amarnath Yatra till now. Additionally, 15 pilgrims had died in the flash floods at the cave shrine on July 1.