10,360 pilgrims pay obeisance at holy cave

Sadhus chanting ‘Bum Bum Bholey’ in front of a registration counter at Jammu on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Sadhus chanting ‘Bum Bum Bholey’ in front of a registration counter at Jammu on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Yatra resumes from Baltal

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, July 30: On the 30th day of the ongoing Shri Amarnathji Yatra, 10,360 yatris paid obeisance at 3880 high Himalayan cave in South Kashmir district of Anantnag today. Till date 3,31,770 yatris drawn from different parts of the country had the darshan of the Shivling at the holy cave.
Meanwhile the yatra which remained suspended from shortest Baltal track for last three consecutive days due to inclement weather and slippery track was resumed this morning and all the stranded pilgrims were allowed to leave for the darshan of naturally formed ice Lingam in cave shrine, officials said.
They said the yatra plied normally from both the tracks today and 10,360 pilgrims managed to perform darshan at cave shrine. The yatris who performed darshan at holy cave today also started their return journey towards the twin base camps of Baltal-Sonamarg and Nunwan-Pahalgam.
Officials said the weather remained pleasant in the holy cave area as well as on both the tracks and base camps of Baltal and Nunwan-Pahalgam. The chopper service was also resumed which remained suspended yesterday.
Meanwhile, one critically sick yatri Usha W/o Mahaveer Sharma, age 60 years, of Ganganagar, Rajasthan was evacuated by helicopter today from Sheshnag to SKIMS, on the direction of Governor, Satya Pal Malik. In all 16 critically sick yatris have been air evacuated by the Shrine Board for immediate specialized treatment till date.
The 27th batch of 1,175 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here for twin base camps of Nunwan Pahalgam in Anantnag district of South Kashmir and Baltal-Sonamarg in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir in a cavalcade of 47 vehicles under tight security arrangements early this morning.
As per reports all these pilgrims have reached their respective base camps by this evening where from they will leave towards the holy cave early tomorrow morning.
While the pilgrims who preferred the shortest Baltal track for darshan will reach holy cave by tomorrow afternoon those who preferred the traditional Chandanwari track will reach holy cave two days later for darshan, officials said.
Reports reaching here said that 250 pilgrims crossed the Gateway of Lakhanpur in last 24 hours towards Jammu in 20 vehicles where from they will leave for Kashmir tomorrow morning.
The 46 day -long yatra which started on July 1 this year will culminate on Sawan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival falling on August 15 when the holy mace of Lord Shiva will reach the cave shrine from its abode Dashnami Aklhara Srinagar.
Led by its custodian Mahant Deependra Giri Ji the holy mace will leave from Srinagar after paying obeisance at historical Durga Nag temple in foothills of Shankracharya temple, Srinagar on Nag Panchmi falling on August 5 and later pay obeisance at temples of Pampore, Awantipora, Bijbehara, Anantnag, Mattan (Martand) Ganeshpora will reach Pahalgam. It will have two days night halt at Pahalgam and later leave towards holy cave with one night halt each at Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarni. It will reach for darshan of holy cave early in the morning of Sawan Purnima where after day long Pooja -Archana by Mahant Ji, Sadhus and devotees accompanying the holy mace, it will start return journey in the evening towards Panchtarni on the same day. With this the 46-day long annual yatra of Shri Amarnath Ji will culminate.