11,456 pilgrims pay obeisance at holy cave on Day 2

A security personnel keeps vigil as pilgrims cross Trail Pathri on way to holy cave shrine of Shri Amarnathji on Tuesday.
A security personnel keeps vigil as pilgrims cross Trail Pathri on way to holy cave shrine of Shri Amarnathji on Tuesday.

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, July 2: With unabated rush of Amarnathji pilgrims continuing, 11,456 pilgrims paid obeisance in the cave shrine of Shri Amarnathji on Day two of darshan today.
With this a total number of 19,859 pilgrims have performed darshan of Shri Amarnathji cave situated at an altitude of 3,880 meters in deep Himalayas in South Kashmir district of Anantnag during the last two days, an official spokesman said.
On the day one of the yatra yesterday, 8403 pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country performed darshan of naturally formed Ice Lingam in the holy cave. Spokesman said that the pilgrims who paid obeisance yesterday have started their return journey from twin Baltal and Panjtarni-Chandanwari tracks.
Meanwhile, the rush of pilgrims has constantly increased during last two days and a fresh batch of 4,823 pilgrims chanting “Bum Bum Bholey’’ and “Baba Barfani Ki Jai’’ left for holy cave under tight security in a cavalcade of 220 vehicles from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas early this morning.

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The yatris were in an upbeat mood and they were singing and dancing as the convoy started leaving for the twin base camps of Nunwan -Pahalgam in South Kashmir district of Anantnag and Baltal in Central Kashmir district of Ganderbal.
Reports reaching here from Kashmir said that by the evening all the pilgrims had reached to their respective base camps where from they will leave towards holy cave early tomorrow morning.
The 46 -day long yatra which started from Jammu on July 1 will culminate on August 15 the day coinciding with Hindu festivals of Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan. The authorities have made elaborate security and other arrangements for yatris along the National Highway from Lakhanpur in Kathua district up to twin base camps and from camps to holy cave.
Besides, multi tier security, arrangements of medical and other facilities have been made for yatris enroute while various philanthropist organisations have opened free langars for the pilgrims on National Highway as well as twin tracks up to holy cave.
The rush of pilgrims is picking up day by day and during last 24 hours, 4,471 Shri Amarnathji bound pilgrims in 300 vehicles crossed the Lakhanpur to Jammu to leave for darshan of holy cave.
Thousands of yatris are camping at different places in Jammu including about 2000 pilgrims, who are staying at Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas to leave for holy cave early tomorrow morning, the official spokesman said.
There has been heavy rush of pilgrims in front of registration centers at Jammu with hundreds of pilgrims standing in long queues from early in the morning for their registration in the scorching heat. Some yatris, however, complained that after seeking the registration they were asked to wait for some days till the date of darshan as per registration slip.
Many yatris who had come from different States were seen sitting on foot paths near Railway Station and other registration counters waiting for their turn of registration.
When contacted Director Tourism, Om Prakash Bhagat said that the registration is made strictly as per token system. He said the rush increases during the first fortnight of the pilgrimage and the Department has made all arrangements to take it.
The pilgrims have to wait for their turn of darshan and till that time they have to sit in Jammu for which the Government has made adequate arrangements.
He also said that the pilgrims should go through the advisory issued by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and should reach here one or two days in advance of the darshan and not before that, he added.
Reports reaching here said the twin base camps at Baltal and Pahalgam are agog with festivities with thousands of yatris reaching there from different parts of the country.