13,555 perform darshan

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, July 11: On the 11th day of holy Amarnath yatra, 13,555 pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country paid obeisance at holy cave of Lord Shiva situated in deep Himalayas in South Kashmir district of Anantnag at a height of 3880 meters from the sea level.
According to officials, 13,555 pilgrims paid obeisance to naturally formed Ice Lingam in the cave shrine today from the shortest Baltal and traditional Chandanwari track. Till date 1,44,058 yatris have offered prayers at holy cave since the 46 day long yatra started on July 1, officials added.
They said the yatris who performed darshan in holy cave today have started their return journey to base camp of Baltal and Panchtarni haltage camps.
The weather enroute to holy cave remained cloudy during the day and it drizzled for some time in Baltal and cave shrine area but there was no disturbance in the movement of yatra, officials said, adding the yatra is proceeding smoothly from both the tracks.
A fresh batch of 5,486 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar, Yatri Niwas under tight security measures in 221 vehicles for the twin base camps of Nunwan -Pahalgam in South Kashmir district of Anantnag and Baltal-Sonamarg in Central Kashmir district of Ganderbal early this morning.
These yatris as per reports had reached their respective base camps by this evening where from they will proceed for their onwards sojourn early tomorrow morning.
Officials said that the rush of yatris is increasing and alone about 5000 pilgrims were camping in Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas and in its surroundings while equal number of pilgrims were staying at different places in the city including Saraswati Dham, Vaishnavi Dham etc.
The Yatris camping at Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas will leave for holy cave early tomorrow morning while those putting up in other parts of city will leave for darshan on their respective dates, officials said, adding besides security, all arrangements of boarding and lodging have been made for pilgrims right from Lakhanpur to holy cave.
As the unabated rush continues, hundreds of pilgrims are seen daily in front of registration counters here in queues waiting for their turn for registration. Yatris reach registration counters early in the morning.
As per reports, 3,060 pilgrims crossed the Lakhanpur towards Jammu in last 24 hours in 160 vehicles while more than this number has come via trains in the same period.
The yatris coming from different parts of country for darshan of holy cave are in high spirits and those who return after performing darshan at holy cave for the first time this year said they will come for paying obeisance to Bholey Nath next year again.
Aakrati Patel, a pilgrim from Ahmedabad Gujarat who had returned after darshan of Ice Lingam in holy cave along with her family members and relatives said that she will come for darshan again next year. “Aakrati a student of BSc Part Ist said “I will continue to come for darshan of holy cave till my health permits. Amarnath is a unique shrine in our country which every Hindu wishes to visit”.
Similar were the views of Raman Kumar, a pilgrim from South Delhi who is visiting the holy cave for the fifth consecutive time. “I have been visiting the shrine along with my friends and relatives since 2015 and every year I add four to five members in the group. “First time we were five members and this time we are 23 members”, he added.