3,000 pilgrims leave Jammu for Amarnath cave

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Jammu: A fresh batch of nearly 3,000 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here for the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas on Sunday, the police said.
The 60-day annual pilgrimage commenced from the twin routes of Baltal in Ganderbal and Pahalgam in Anantnag districts on June 28 and till last evening over 1.76 lakh pilgrims have visited the cave shrine.
A convoy of 121 vehicles carrying 2,922 pilgrims, including 725 women and 93 sadhus, left for the twin base camps of Baltal and Pahalgam in the Valley, despite early morning rains which lashed wide parts of Jammu region, a police official said.
He said the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with India , is open for traffic.
According to the official,while 1,480 pilgrims are heading for Nunwan base camp along the 36-km Pahalgam track, 1,442 yatris have opted for the shortest 12-km Baltal route.
The pilgrimage is scheduled to conclude on August 26 coinciding with ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival.