Fresh batch of 670 pilgrims leaves for Amarnath

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Jammu, August 1: A fresh batch of 670 pilgrims left for the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas today.

The 60-day yatra, which commenced from the twin routes of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district on June 28, has crossed the 2 lakh mark so far.

However, the number of pilgrims undertaking the yatra has marked a sharp dip over the past week due to early melting of the naturally formed ice-Shivling at the sanctum sanctorum.

The pilgrims, which included 410 males, 213 women and 47 sadhus, left in a fleet of 17 vehicles under tight security arrangements early morning today, the officials said, adding they are expected to reach their destination later in the day.

While 352 pilgrims, including 137 women, have opted the shorter 12-km Baltal route, 318 others, including 76 women and 47 Sadhus, are undertaking the yatra from the traditional 36-km Pahalgam route, he said.

The yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 26 coinciding with ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival.