Jammu, July 24: Started on July 2, the 48-day long Amarnath Ji yatra crossed the two lakh mark after 3,175 pilgrims paid obeisance to Ice Lingam in holy cave of Lord Shiva situated at an altitude of 13000 feet in South Kashmir district of Anantnag on 23rd day of yatra today.
According to an official spokesman, 3,175 pilgrims performed darshan at holy cave last evening and with this the total number of pilgrims paying obeisance during last 23 days of Yatra has touched 2,02,500.
The spokesman said it was a sunny day throughout today at holy cave as well as the two base camps of Baltal and Nunwan and yatra proceeded smoothly.
He said 1,314 pilgrims left from Chandanwari to holy cave today while 311 returned from the cave to Pahalgam after darshan.
Besides, 39 pilgrims left for cave shrine via chopper from Pahalgam while 46 returned after darshan and 228 pilgrims were staying at Nunwan base camp for night halt.
He said 1,505 pilgrims left from Baltal, the shortest track to holy cave while 1,289 pilgrims reported at Baltal this morning from Jammu.
It may be recalled that there has been considerable decline in yatra rush after the unrest in Srinagar for last two weeks as pilgrims remained stranded at Jammu and on various places at National Highway as well as two base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal for days together on a number of occasions.
There is no usual hustle and bustle at the yatra base camps as well as Yatri Niwas of Bhagwati Nagar here now which used to be during the first week of pilgrimage when over 15000 pilgrims were reporting daily in Jammu to leave for holy cave.
Sources said some ponywallas and tent owners have also packed up from Baltal as well as Pahalgam area after the sudden decrease in yatra rush while the langars also remained empty as rush of pilgrims has come down considerably.
Meanwhile, chanting “Bum Bum Bholay and Har Har Mahadev”, a fresh batch of 1,213 pilgrims left Jammu Yatri Niwas for holy cave amid tight security in a cavalcade of 30 vehicles. These pilgrims had reached near Jawahar Tunnel when last reports came in.