500 pilgrims rescued by ITBP jawans as rains lash holy cave area

Yatris being shifted to safer areas as heavy rains lash holy Cave area on Tuesday. — Excelsior/Shakeel
Yatris being shifted to safer areas as heavy rains lash holy Cave area on Tuesday. — Excelsior/Shakeel

5000 perform darshan

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, July 26: About 500 yatris were rescued as flash floods hit Lower Cave area of Shri Amarnath Ji this afternoon after heavy rains lashed the yatra area.
According to sources about 500 pilgrims were at the Lower cave when heavy rains lashed the area and alert jawans of ITBP and J&K Police swung into action and rescued them to safer places. However no loss of life or property was reported and yatra also plied smoothly during the day with over 5000 pilgrims performing darshan at cave shrine by this evening.
According to officials heavy rains lashed the cave shrine area during this afternoon and about the 500 yatris camping at Lower Cave area were rescued by the jawans of ITBP and JK Police who were on duty in the area to safer places and no loss of life or property has been reported.
Officials said that the yatra plied smoothly and 5038 pilgrims drawn from different parts of country performed darshan of naturally formed Ice Lingam in holy cave by this evening.
With this the total pilgrims performing darshan at holy cave since the 43 day long holy Amarnath pilgrimage which commenced on June 30 this year has touched 2,62,959. It may be recalled that till yesterday evening 2,57,921 pilgrims had performed darshan of naturally formed Ice Lingam in the holy cave of Shri Amarnath Ji.
Meanwhile, one pilgrim identified as Chandershekhar G Patil , 48, was brought dead to Base Camp Hospital, Panjtarni. He was a patient of hypertension and diabetes. Though earlier doctors tried a lot but the patient could not be revived. His body is at Base Hospital Panjtarni, officials added.
A fresh batch of 2189 pilgrims left for twin base camps of Baltal in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir and Nunwan, Pahalgam in Anantang district of South Kashmir in a cavalcade of 72 vehicles early this morning under tight security arrangements.
Out of them 1374 pilgrims preferred the traditional and longest 48 kilometre Nunwan-Chandanwari track, while 815 pilgrims preferred the shortest 14 kilometre Baltal track. These pilgrims will leave for holy cave from their respective base camps early tomorrow morning.
Moreover hundreds of yatris camping at Nunwan Base Camp, Chandanwari, Sheshnag, Panjtarni camps and Baltal Base camp also started their onwards sojourn this morning.
The 43 day long yatra will culminate on Swan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival falling on August 11 when holy mace of Lord Shiva from Dashnami Akhara Srinagar will reach the cave shrine.