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Third batch of pilgrims leave for Kashmir

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Over 10k pilgrims pay obeisance at holy cave

Jammu/Srinagar: A fresh batch of 4,903 pilgrims left the base camp here on Sunday to join the annual pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said.

With this, a total of 12,807 pilgrims have so far undertaken the pilgrimage since June 30 when Lt Governor Manoj Sinha flagged off the first batch.

Over 8,000 pilgrims offered prayers at the shrine on the first day of the 62-day yatra which commenced from both the twin tracks – the traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag district and the shorter but steep 14-km-long Baltal route in Ganderbal district on Saturday.

The officials said 2,557 devotees, including 379 women and 226 sadhus, left in 104 vehicles for Pahalgam, while 2,346 pilgrims left in a convoy of 131 vehicles for the Baltal base camp early today.

Meanwhile, over ten thousand pilgrims paid obeisance at holy cave on Sunday while third batch of 4,903 pilgrims have left from Jammu for the Valley.

Officials said than on the second day of yatra, 10,467 paid obeisance at the holy cave shrine. “Since two days, a total of 18,426 pilgrims have performed the yatra while 7,959 paid obeisance at the cave shrine on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir traffic police issued an advisory for Yatris and tourists. “No Yatra or tourist vehicle shall be allowed to cross Banihal–Qaziqund (Navyug) tunnel towards Kashmir after 2 pm,” reads the advisory.

It reads that no yatra or tourist vehicle shall be allowed from Pahalgam to move towards Jammu after 3 pm. “No yatra or tourist vehicle shall be allowed from Sonamarg to Srinagar after 3 pm and no yatra or tourist vehicle shall be allowed from Gulmarg to Srinagar after 5 pm.”

It added that Yatris and tourists are advised to travel in Kashmir Valley only between 7 am to 6 pm and should plan accordingly so that they reach their destinations within the time frame.

The cut-off timings for Srinagar bound Yatra and tourist vehicles other than daily convoys of Shri Amarnath Ji Yatris have been fixed at 11 am from Jammu, noon from Jakhani, Udhampur, 1 pm from Chanderkote, Ramban and 2 pm from Lamber, Banihal.

The advisory said after withdrawing ROP every day at 6 pm, the movements of Yatris and tourists shall be restricted. It said that the concerned Police, traffic police, and security forces shall bring such vehicles to the nearest Yatri or security forces camps.(PTI/ KNO)

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