Amarnath Yatra 2017: Undeterred by attack, fresh batch of 1,782 pilgrims leaves for cave shrine

Jammu: Another batch of 1,782 pilgrims on Wednesday left Jammu to perform the ongoing Amarnath Yatra in the Kashmir Valley.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

"The batch left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy of 62 vehicles at 3.40 am on Wednesday for the valley", an official said in Jammu.

Since it began on 29 June, over 2.20 lakh pilgrims have performed this year's Amarnath Yatra which will conclude on 7 August on Shravan Purnima coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival.

The cave shrine situated 3,888 m above the sea-level in Kashmir's Himalayas houses an ice stalagmite structure that waxes and wanes with the size of the visible moon.

Devotees believe the ice stalagmite structure symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

So far, 44 pilgrims have died during this year's yatra in the valley.

Of these, 17 persons died on 15 July in a road accident on Jammu-Srinagar national highway, eight pilgrims were killed in the 10 July terror attack on a yatra bus at Batengo in Anantnag district, and 19 pilgrims died of natural causes.

Over 35,000 personnel drawn from the Army, Central Reserve Police Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Jammu and Kashmir police have been deployed for the security of pilgrims.

The pilgrims approach the cave shrine either through the traditional 46-km long Pahalgam track or through the 14-km long Baltal track.

Helicopter service is also available for the pilgrims on both the routes.

Updated Date: Jul 19, 2017 14:52 PM

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