Press Trust of India

Over 50,000 devotees visit Amarnath cave shrine in first four days of pilgrimage

Over 50,000 devotees visit Amarnath cave shrine in first four days of pilgrimage
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Srinagar: More than 50,000 people have visited the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas since the start of the annual pilgrimage four days ago, officials said on Tuesday.

M Anapurna, a 67-year-old woman pilgrim from Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati, died at a hospital in Sonamarg on Monday, they said, adding the cause of her death was not known yet.

An Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officer posted on Amarnath Yatra duty died at Sonamarg in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir died before the commencement of the pilgrimage.

Cardiac arrest — triggered by lower oxygen concentration at high altitudes — is one of the most common causes of fatalities among Amarnath pilgrims and security forces posted there.

On Tuesday, 13,597 people paid obeisance at the holy cave shrine, the officials said, adding in the first four days of the yatra, 54,714 devotees have had ‘darshan’ of the naturally-formed ice-lingam in the cave shrine.

CRPF Director General S.L. Thaosen on Tuesday assessed the security arrangements for the yatra convoy along the pilgrimage route.

“CRPF DG S L Thaosen undertook a comprehensive assessment of Yatra Convoy security arrangements. He inspected Yatri camps in @KOSCRPF and deployment on the national highway to ensure maintenance of top safety standards and preparedness,” the CRPF said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the fifth batch of more than 6,500 Amarnath pilgrims left the Jammu city in the early hours of Tuesday for the twin base camps in Kashmir, officials said.

The 62-day annual pilgrimage to the 3,888-metre-high cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas commenced from the twin tracks of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district on July 1.

The officials said the pilgrim footfall at the shrine is likely to cross the 50,000 mark later in the day as the yatra is progressing smoothly, with devotees from across the country thronging the base camps to have a glimpse of the naturally formed ice-shivlingam and offer their prayers.

A total of 6,597 pilgrims, including 1,429 women, 160 seers and 33 children, left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here for the valley in a convoy of 253 vehicles amid tight security arrangements in the early hours of Tuesday, they said.

The officials said 4,475 pilgrims, headed for Pahalgam, left in a convoy of 160 vehicles for the valley at around 4.10 am, while another convoy of 93 vehicles carrying 2,122 pilgrims was the first to leave for the Baltal base camp at 3.40 am.

With this, a total of 24,162 pilgrims have left the Jammu base camp for the valley since June 30, the day the first batch of pilgrims was flagged off by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.

The yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 31.


Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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