Amarnath Yatra: Third batch begins journey



Jammu: Another batch of around 2,000 pilgrims for the Amarnath Yatra left from here on Saturday for the Himalayan cave shrine in the Kashmir Valley.

“The third batch of 1,849 pilgrims, including 406 women and 25 children, left Jammu in buses, taxis and private vehicles in a convoy for the Shri Amarnathji Yatra today (Saturday),” a senior police official told Media Sources here.

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The official said the convoy of pilgrims started from the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in the city at 5 a.m.

So far, more than 16,000 pilgrims have had ‘darshan’ at the Amarnath cave shrine situated 14,500 feet above the sea level in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

The cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that waxes and wanes with the phases of the Moon.

Devotees believe the stalagmite structure symbolizes mythical powers of Lord Shiva and call it the ‘Holy Lingam’.

The two-month long Yatra will end on August 29 coinciding with Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan festivals.

Pilgrims use both the 36-km long traditional Pahalgam route and the 14-km long north Kashmir Baltal route to reach the cave shrine.

Yesterday a top Army official had confirmed that Militants could target Amarnath Yatra this time.

“We are aware that militants are trying to cross the border to create problems during Amarnath Yatra,” said Lt General KH Singh, General Officer Commanding (GoC), 16 Corps.

But he also assured that Army is prepared to deal with any such threat.

“Let me assure you that their (militants) intentions of infiltration or trying to create trouble will be dealt with,” he said.

The reports of threat got intimated earlier this week when 11 young terrorists posted a pfhotograph on facebook which went Viral all over the Media. Latesr after that reports of ISIS gaining foothold over PoK grabbed the attention of the Army. In view of the above mentioned signals, Army has prepared a special task force to deal with these threats in an approppriate manner.