Over 5,600 pilgrims leave for Amarnath cave shrine from Jammu

Amid tight security arrangements, the 14th batch of 5,649 pilgrims on Monday left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine of Amarnath, officials said. The pilgrims left in a convoy of 198 vehicles amid heavy security of the CRPF, the officials said.

They said 2,558 pilgrims heading for Baltal were the first to leave the camp in 85 vehicles followed by the second convoy of 113 vehicles carrying 3,091 pilgrims for Pahalgam.

So far, over 1.85 lakh pilgrims have offered their prayers at the cave shrine, having the naturally formed ice-shivling, the officials said.

With this, a total of 110,758 pilgrims have left from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the Valley since June 29.

The yatra is scheduled to end on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

A total of 31 people, mostly pilgrims, have died during the on-going yatra till now, excluding 15 pilgrims, who died in flashfloods at the cave shrine on July 1.