Over 17,000 perform darshan, 8700 leave for holy cave; 5 pilgrims dead

Huge rush of pilgrims outside the gate of Vaishnavi Dham in Jammu on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Huge rush of pilgrims outside the gate of Vaishnavi Dham in Jammu on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

LG admires contribution of J&K people

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, July 3: While over 17,000 yatris performed darshan at holy cave of Lord Shiva in South Kashmir Himalayas by this evening, a fresh batch of 8700 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas, here for twin base camps of Baltal in Central Kashmir district of Ganderbal and Nunwan and Pahalgam in South Kashmir district of Anantnag while Lt Governor Manoj Sinha lauded the role of people of Jammu and Kashmir in making the yatra completely successful.
As per reports, 17349 pilgrims drawn from different parts of country travelling via 14 km Baltal track and 48 km long Chandanwari route paid obeisance at cave shrine by this evening.
The hundreds of yatris camping at twin base camps of Nunwan , Pahalgam and Baltal also started their onwards sojourn early in the morning by trekking hazards mountains to reach the holy cave. Moreover, the pilgrims camping at Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtarni haltage camps also started their onwards sojourn early this morning.

Click here to watch video
In last four days since the 43 day yatra started on June 30, about 51,000 pilgrims have paid their obeisance at cave shrine and some of them have left for their home States while others are on the way.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha interacts with Shri Amarnathji pilgrims and volunteers at transit camp of Pantha Chowk in Srinagar on Sunday.
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha interacts with Shri Amarnathji pilgrims and volunteers at transit camp of Pantha Chowk in Srinagar on Sunday.

The yatris are fully satisfied with the arrangements made by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and local administration right from Lakhanpur Jammu to holy cave. Ramesh Sahu, a yatri from Varanasi UP said that they have not faced any problem anywhere while travelling to holy cave. He said he local people are also cooperative and the services provided by langar Sewadars are really excellent.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha today visited Shri Amarnathji yatra transit camp at Pantha Chowk near Srinagar and interacted with the Shri Amarnathji pilgrims there.
He enquired about the facilities being extended to the pilgrims, besides conveying his greetings and best wishes to the yatris.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the visit, Sinha expressed satisfaction over the arrangements put in place for the convenience of the yatris.
“I truly appreciate and admire the contribution of the people of Jammu Kashmir to make this holy yatra successful, ” said the Lt Governor.
The selfless service of civil society, volunteers and locals have made a huge difference in our effort to provide best possible facilities to the pilgrims, he added.
There is also perfect coordination among security forces. The number of pilgrims, who paid obeisance to Lord Shiva, has already crossed 50,000, the Lt Governor said.
He interacted with the volunteers and inspected various counters put up for extending assistance to the yatris.
He said the administration is ensuring that the movement of perishable items do not face any hurdle and trucks are allowed during the notified time.
“Officials will ensure fruit growers, farmers and dealers transporting perishable items like fruits and vegetables do not face inconvenience on the National Highway. It is top priority of the administration to streamline the traffic for both yatris and traders of fruits and vegetables,” the Lt Governor said.
Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor; Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Vijay Kumar, IGP Kashmir; Mohd Aijaz, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar and other senior officers accompanied the Lt Governor.
Reports reaching here said five pilgrims have died since the commencement of the Amarnath yatra this year, even as over 40,000 devotees have so far visited the holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said today.
A pilgrim by the name Virinder Gupta is missing from the yatra’s Chandanwari-Sheshnag route, they said.
Of the five deceased, three passed away due to cardiac arrests: Jai Prakash from Delhi died at Chandanwari, Devender Tayal (53) from Bareily collapsed at Lower Cave and Lipo Sharma (40) from Bihar died at Qazigund camp, the officials said.
Jagannath (61) from Maharashtra lost his life due to some health condition at Pisutop while another person Ashu Singh (46) from Rajasthan died after he fell down from a horse at MG Top, they mentioned.
A security forces jawan fell ill at holy cave today and he was shifted to Neelgrath and admitted in local hospital there for treatment. His condition is stated to be normal.
Meanwhile, rush of pilgrims is increasing day by day with over 10,000 yatris camping in Jammu and other places in the region. Huge rush of pilgrims is seen at various registration counters here who are waiting in long queues from early in the morning for their registration.
As per reports 3000 pilgrims crossed gateway of Lakhanpur in Kathua district by this evening while thousands also reached via trains and by air from different parts of the country today.