Amid tight security, 14th batch of 5,210 Amarnath pilgrims left a base camp here on Monday for the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir. As many as 8,734 pilgrims paid obeisance to Lord Shiva in the shape of Ice Lingum at the Amarnath cave shrine till Sunday night, thereby taking the total to 1,82,712 pilgrims, who have visited the holy site in the past 11 days.
Over 1.85 lakh pilgrims from across the country have so far registered themselves for the 46-day-long pilgrimage.
The 14th batch comprises 3,711 males, 1,386 females, 19 children and 94 seers, who left in a fleet of 222 vehicles from the Bhagwati Nagar camp here this morning for the twin base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal, officials said.
For the Pahalgam route, 2,838 pilgrims left the base camp, while 2,372 pilgrims left for Baltal. They are travelling in 123 buses and 99 small vehicles, which were escorted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the officials said.
With this, a total of 71,630 pilgrims had so far left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp since the commencement of the yatra from Jammu on June 30, a day ahead of the official start of the pilgrimage from the twin tracks—traditional 36-km Pahalgam in Anantnag district and 14-km shorter Baltal in Ganderbal district, the officials said.
Multi-tier security arrangements have been made for smooth and successful conduct of the yatra, which will conclude on August 15.
As many as 2.85 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave last year. The number of pilgrims was 3.52 lakh in 2015, 3.20 lakh in 2016 and 2.60 lakh in 2017.