Jammu: A batch of 1,002 pilgrims left Jammu for the 3,888-metre-high Amarnath cave shrine of Lord Shiva in the south Kashmir Himalayas on Sunday where over two lakh devotees have paid obeisance this year.
According to an official, 1,002 is the lowest number of pilgrims in a single batch, so far, this year.
"A batch of 1,002 pilgrims today left Jammu in a convoy of 42 vehicles for twin base-camps of Amarnath shrine. This is the lowest number, so far, this year", a police officer said.
Overall, with Sunday's batch, a total of 65,483 pilgrims have left Jammu for Amarnath in 21 batches since the yatra began from Jammu on 28 June.
As many as 2,36,515 pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas till last evening.
As many as 4,105 pilgrims left Jammu for Amarnath on 14 July followed by another batch of 3,398 pilgrims on 15 July. On 16 July, 3,603 pilgrims left Jammu for the shrine.
On 17 July, the number of pilgrims visiting the cave shrine came down to 2,646 followed by 2,224 on 18 July, 1,877 on 19 July and 1,782 on 20 July, 1180.
On July 21, 1,180 and on July 22, 1,122 pilgrims left in batch for Amarnath from Jammu. The number of pilgrims who left for the cave shrine today was 1,002.
On 10 July, a bus carrying pilgrims in the Anantnag district of south Kashmir was attacked by terrorists. Eight devotees died and 32 were injured in the attack.
According to official figures, as many as 9,719 pilgrims paid obeisance at the Amarnath cave shrine on 14 July, followed by 8,638 on 15 July.
This figure dipped to 8,024 on 17 July, 6,064 on 18 July, 5,824 on 19 July, 4,723 on 20 July, 4,655 on 21 July and 4,518 on 22 July, the data said.
The government has mobilised a heavy security blanket of over 35,000 to 40,000 troops including the police, the Army, the BSF and the CRPF for the yatra this year.
The annual yatra began this year amid a terror threat, with intelligence reports warning of a probable attack which prompted the authorities to mobilise the "highest level" of security, including satellite tracking system.
This year, the yatra will conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on 7 August.
Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley, the Amarnath shrine is 46 km from Pahalgam and 14 km from Baltal.
Updated Date: Jul 23, 2017 20:01 PM