JAMMU, July 12: Over 1,50,000 pilgrims have paid obeisance to Ice Lingam in holy cave of Shri Amarnath Ji in South Kashmir district of Anantnag during last 12 days.
On the 12th day of darshan of ongoing 46 day long Shri Amarnath Ji yatra which started on July 1, 13,004 pilgrims offered prayers at holy cave from shortest track of Baltal-Sonamarg in Central Kashmir district of Ganderbal and traditional Chandanwari-Pahalgam route in South Kashmir district of Anantnag today, officials said. Till date 1,57,62 pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country have performed darshan at holy cave situated on 3880 meters above sea level.
Officials said that yatra is proceeding smoothly from both the tracks and the weather during the day remained cloudy. It also rained at Baltal and in holy cave area for some time but later the rain stopped and the yatra was not disturbed.
The yatris paying obeisance at holy cave by this evening have also started their return journey towards the twin base camps. The heavy rush of pilgrims continued and thousands of yatris were reporting at the twin base camps daily from different parts of the country. Both the base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal are agog with festivities with yatris singing and dancing in praise of Lord Shiva.
A fresh batch of 5,398 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas from here early this morning in a cavalcade of 207 vehicles under tight security arrangements towards base camps of Nunwan Pahalgam and Baltal. The reports reaching here said that all the pilgrims had managed to reach their respective base camps by this evening.
There is also a heavy rush of pilgrims at Jammu and by this evening, over 3,000 yatris had managed their entry in Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas while many others were putting up in different parts of city including community halls and lodges, officials said.
Unlike past, this year maximum yatris prefer to embark on yatra via Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas to ensure their proper safety and security, officials said. The yatris are in a jubilant mood and they were seen singing and dancing on beating of drums at Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas, Geeta Bhawan and Ram Mandir , Purani Mandi here.
Reports reaching here from Kathua said that 3,037 pilgrims have crossed the gateway of Lakhanpur towards Jammu during last 24 hours in 190 vehicles from different parts of the country.
Meanwhile, two pilgrims died today. According to reports, Shrikanth Doshi, 65, a resident of Gujarat died on traditional Pahalgam cave shrine track at Sheshnag. Another pilgrim identified as Sheshi Kumar Bushan,55, a resident of Jharkhand died in sleep during a halt after having darshan at holy cave.