Amarnath Yatra resumed on Monday after remaining suspended for a day due to inclement weather as another batch of over 4,000 pilgrims left for the base camps of the 3,880-metre high cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said.
The Yatra was suspended from Jammu due to bad weather conditions and no batch was allowed to proceed to the base camps in the Valley on Sunday.
Flash floods triggered by heavy rain struck near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath on July 8, leaving at least 16 people dead and more than 30 missing.
“A total of 4,026 pilgrims left in the 12th batch from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here in a convoy of 110 vehicles amid heavy security of CRPF,” officials said.
Of these, 3,192 are males, 641 females, 13 children, 174 ‘sadhus’ and six ‘sadhvis’, they said.
According to officials, 1,016 pilgrims heading for Baltal were the first to leave the Bhagwati Nagar camp in 35 vehicles at around 3.30 am followed by the second convoy of 75 vehicles carrying 2,425 pilgrims for Pahalgam.
A fresh batch of pilgrims was also allowed from Nunwan base camp on Pahalgam route Monday morning, officials said, adding that the pilgrims are scheduled to reach the holy cave Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, the Army has constructed a makeshift staircase outside the holy cave. The path leading to the cave shrine was damaged due to the landslides triggered by the cloudburst on Friday.
“In view of #Yatra resuming from #Pahalgam Axis today, a stairway towards approach to the #Holy cave has been made overnight to facilitate #Yatris,” Army’s Chinar Corps tweeted.
The annual 43-day yatra commenced from the twin base camps — traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag and 14-km shorter Baltal in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal — on June 30.
So far, over 1.13 lakh pilgrims have offered their prayers at the cave shrine, housing the naturally formed ice-shivlingam, they said.
With this, a total of 69,561 pilgrims have left from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the Valley since June 29, the day the first batch of pilgrims was flagged off by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
The yatra is scheduled to end on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.