Over 1500 perform darshan at holy cave on 38th day

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 4: On the 38th day of ongoing Swami Amarnath yatra which started on June 28 over 1500 pilgrims paid obeisance of naturally formed Ice Lingam of Lord Shiva in holy cave today.
According to an officer on yatra duty, 1527 pilgrims drawn from different parts of the country paid obeisance at cave shrine situated at an altitude of 3880 meters in deep Himalayas in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
He said till date 2,71,286 pilgrims performed darshan in the holy cave and majority of them have returned to their home states while others are on way.
The officer said the pilgrims who performed their darshan in the cave shrine today started their return journey towards the base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal. While those who returned towards Baltal have reached the base camp by late tonight others who prefer to return via Chandanwari track will spent the night at Panjtarni before leaving for Nunwan tomorrow, he added.
He said 534 pilgrims left for holy cave via shortest Baltal track early this morning. Besides, 356 left by chopper during the day. He said 1300 pilgrims are staying at Baltal Base Camp for the night and they included those pilgrims also who returned to base camp after paying obeisance in the cave shrine by this evening and those who reached the base camp for Jammu to leave for darshan early tomorrow morning.
The officer said 520 pilgrims left Nunwan-Pahalgam base camp via Chandanwari track for darshan this morning while the pilgrims having a night halt at Sheshnag and Panjtarni transit camps also started their onwards sojourn in the morning.
The officer said that the weather was clear during the day in the cave shrine area and the yatra proceeded smoothly from both the tracks.
He said the rush is day by day declining and many langars and pony wallas have already packed up now after the decline in daily rush.
The two -month long yatra will culminate on Sawan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival falling on August 26 after the holy mace from its abode Dashnami Akhahara Srinagar reaches the cave shrine.
At Jammu 274 pilgrims including 61 Sadhus were registered at three registration counters today, yatra Nodal Officer ,Arun Manhas said. He said out of them 139 preferred Baltal track and 135 preferred Pahalgam -Chandanwari track. These pilgrims will leave for holy cave early tomorrow morning.
He said a fresh batch of 528 pilgrims also left for twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal from Bhagwati Nagar  Yatri Niwas here early this morning where from they will leave for cave shrine tomorrow.