JAMMU, July 7: Nearly 96,000 pilgrims have paid obeisance at holy cave of Shri Amarnathji during the first week of yatra which started on July 1 from twin tracks of Baltal-Sonamarg and Chandanwari-Pahalgam.
According to officials, on the seventh day of the ongoing yatra of Shri Amarnathji, 14,293 pilgrims offered prayers to naturally formed Ice Lingam in cave shrine situated at an altitude of 3880 meters above the sea level in deep Himalayas in South Kashmir district of Anantnag. The officials said with this 95,923 pilgrims have paid obeisance in the holy cave during first week of pilgrimage.
The yatra is proceeding smoothly from shortest 14 km Baltal track as well as 35 km long traditional Chandanwari -Sheshnag route and the weather in the cave shrine area remained pleasant throughout the day today, officials said.
One pilgrim died at Brarimarg enroute to holy cave due to cardiac arrest today. He has been identified as Chandreswar Rai Prasad, 66, son of Naglesh Prasad of Hari Chak Patna Bihar, officials said.
They said thousands of pilgrims are proceeding to holy cave from both the tracks daily for darshan while the unabated rush of pilgrims continued.
Officials said 4,722 pilgrims in 180 vehicles left for Baltal and Nunwan-Chandanwari base camps from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here under tight security arrangements this morning in a cavalcade of 180 vehicles under tight security. All these yatris had reached their respective base camps by the evening where from they will proceed to holy cave early tomorrow morning, officials said.
During last 24 hours, 2782 pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country crossed the gateway of Lakhanpur towards Jammu in 200 vehicles, officials said, adding equal number of pilgrims have reached Jammu via Railways also.
A 42-year-old Amarnath pilgrim from Gujarat died at a hospital here today, after paying obeisance at the holy cave shrine, police said.
Ankit Kumar fell sick on his return from Kashmir at lodgement centre for pilgrims at Guru Ravi Dass temple, Krishna Nagar, and was admitted to Government Medical College Hospital here, a police official said. He added that his condition deteriorated and he died around 4 pm today.
The body of the deceased has been shifted to the mortuary and the next of his kin were contacted, the police said, adding legal formalities have been initiated in this regard.
Kumar had visited the cave shrine on Friday and reached Jammu the next day. He had reportedly complained of health problems while returning from the cave shrine, police said.