Over 8,700 perform darshan on day 14
JAMMU, July 14: After remaining suspended for a day due to strike call given by separatists on the occasion of July 13 yesterday, the Shri Amarnath yatra started from here, early this morning and a fresh batch of 7,993 pilgrims left for holy cave from here early this morning.
Officials said that 13th batch of 7,993 pilgrims left for holy cave early this morning in a cavalcade of 310 vehicles under tight security arrangements from the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas for twin base camps of Nunwan -Pahalgam in South Kashmir district of Anantnag and Baltal-Sonamarg in Central Kashmir district of Ganderbal.
This is the highest number of pilgrims which left for holy cave on a single day from here since the first batch of yatra was flagged off on June 30, officials said, adding the unabated rush continues with thousands of pilgrims reaching here from different parts of the country daily to leave for darshan of Shri Amarnath Ji.
Officials said 1400 pilgrims have managed their entry in Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas while many were on way to enter the Yatri Niwas. Besides, about 2000 pilgrims were waiting in the surrounding areas of Yatri Niwas while equal number is in other parts of city including community halls and temples.
Reports reaching here said 2700 pilgrims in 170 vehicles crossed the Lakhanpur Gate Way in last 24 hours while thousands of pilgrims for holy shrine have reached Jammu from different parts of country via rail.
On 14th day of darshan 8,734 pilgrims paid obeisance of naturally formed Ice Lingam in holy cave of Shri Amarnath Ji situated at the height of 3880 metres in deep Himalayas in South Kashmir district of Anantnag from twin tracks of Baltal and Chandanwari, officials said.
Till date, 1,82,712 pilgrims had the darshan of the Shivlingam at the holy cave in last 14 days. It may be recalled that yatra from Jammu remained suspended yesterday due to bandh call by separatists. Earlier yatra also remained suspended on June 8 after the separatists had given the bandh call on the occasion of death anniversary of dreaded terrorist Burhan Wani.
Officials said that fool proof arrangements have been made that of security have been made for the Amarnath pilgrims from Pahalgam to holy cave and the officials as well as security forces deployed on yatra duty are rendering all cooperation and help to pilgrims enroute to cave shrine.
As a goodwill gesture and to ease the problems of the pilgrims which they face due to terrain and hazards track Abrar Chowdhary, SSP, Commanding Officer IRP, 4th Battalion of JKP shifted a tired and sick female yatri to a safer location during intense rain in Raelpathri area of holy cave in Kashmir Valley. The officer shifted the lady on his own back to the safer place. This gesture was highly appreciated by the pilgrims who were greatly impressed by the spirit of the police officer.
Officials said that the yatra proceeded normally from both shortest Baltal and traditional Chandanwari tracks. The weather in the holy cave area and at Nunwan-Chandanwari as well as Baltal remained cloudy during the day, officials said. It also rained at Baltal and on twin tracks as well as holy cave for some time during the day but the yatra was not disturbed, officials added.
One pilgrim died at Baltal Hospital today. She has been identified as Sunder Devi, 63, wife of Ram Narayan Chawan of Ajmer, Rajasthan. Officials said that she fell ill in the tent during night and was shifted to Baltal Hospital in the morning where she died later despite the efforts of doctors to save her life.