JAMMU, July 2I: While over 10,000 pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country today paid obeisance at holy cave of Baba Amarnath Ji situated at an altitude of 3880 metres above sea level in deep Himalayas of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, 4703 pilgrims who left from Jammu for twin base camps of Nunwan Pahalgam and Baltal early this morning were not allowed to go ahead of Ramban due to shooting stones and blockade of National Highway at various places.
According to officials, all 4703 pilgrims were taken to Chanderkot Yatri Niwas in Ramban district by the administration and accommodated there for night.
The officials said 10,310 pilgrims performed darshan of naturally formed Ice Lingam by this evening at the cave shrine from twin tracks of Baltal and Chandanwari. With this, total number of pilgrims who performed darshan in the cave shrine since the annual yatra of Baba Amarnath JI started on June 30 this year has touched 2,29,744.
Officials said the weather was partially cloudy during the day in the yatra area. Officials said that the rush of pilgrims is continuing as thousands of yatris continue to report at twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam in Anantnag district of South Kashmir and Baltal in Central Kashmir district of Ganderbal.
Officials said 2320 pilgrims were staying at Nunwan base camp during last night while 2094 left from there to holy cave this morning. They said 3897 pilgrims had night stay at Sheshnag Camp while 5211 pilgrims left from Sheshnag to holy cave.
Officials said 8384 pilgrims were having night stay at Panchtarni while 7244 left for holy cave from there during the day. Reports said about 9840 pilgrims were also staying at Baltal base camp for the night and 4154 left for holy cave from there this morning.
Meanwhile, a fresh batch of 4703 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here for the twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal early this morning under tight security arrangements in a cavalcade of 156 vehicles. Among them 2702 pilgrims preferred the traditional and longest 48 kilometre Pahalgam -Chandanwari track while 2001 opted for shortest 14 km Baltal track.
These pilgrims, however, were not allowed to go beyond Chanderkot by the Ramban district administration due to shooting stones and blockade of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and taken to Chanderkot Yatri Niwas for night haltage. They will move towards twin base camps from there tomorrow provided the Highway reopens.
Meanwhile, 2100 Amarnath bound pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country have crossed the gateway of Lakhanpur in Kathua district by this evening.
The 43 day long yatra will culminate on Shravan 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.