11th batch of 5486 Amarnath pilgrims leaves Jammu

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 7/12/2019 11:10:43 AM

JAMMU, Jul 11: Eleventh batch of 5486 pilgrims Thursday left for Amarnath cave shrine in South Kashmir amid rains from Yatri Niwas, Bhagwati Nagar base camp, here.
The fleet of 221 vehicles ferrying pilgrims was escorted by CRPF personnel in jeeps and on motorbikes. For Pahalgam route, 2514 male, 591 females, 25 children and 227 sadhus left the base camp in 133 vehicles and for Baltal, 1465 male, 654 females and 10 children left in 88 vehicles including buses and LMVs. Total 221 vehicles left the base camp for both the routes including 91 HMVs, 128 LMVs and two motorcycles.
Since it started on July 1, over 1.30 lakh pilgrims had 'Darshan' inside the cave shrine situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level in Kashmir Himalayas.
The Cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva according to the devotees. The ice stalagmite structure waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.
Pilgrims approach the Cave shrine either from the shorter 14-Kms long Baltal trek or through the longer 45-Kms long Pahalgam trek. Helicopter services are also available for pilgrims at both the base camps.
Local Muslims have always lent a helping hand to ensure that their Hindu brethren are able to perform the Yatra with ease and convenience. Acknowledging this, state governor, Satya Pal Malik said the smooth and peaceful conduct of the Amarnath Yatra has been possible because of the support and active engagement of the local Muslims.
The cave shrine was discovered in 1,850 by a Muslim shepherd Buta Malik. Legend says a Sufi saint rewarded the shepherd with a bag of charcoal that turned out to be gold.
Descendants of the shepherd have received a portion of the offerings at the cave shrine for over 150 years. This year's Amarnath Yatra will end on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.



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