Seven pilgrims died on way to the Amarnath cave, even as the number of yatris who had 'darshan' of the naturally formed ice Shivalingam formed at a height of 3,880 metre above sea level crossed 4.5 lakh on Saturday, officials said.
All the seven pilgrims died of cardiac arrest, taking the death toll to 79 in the ongoing yatra which commenced on June 25, officials said.
Ranidhar (30) of Maharashtra and Amlas Chakravorty (62) of West Bengal died at Baltal base camp, while two Punjab residents Prem Kumar (47) and Gurnam Singh (22) breathed their last at Brarimarg and Nagatati-Pahalgam, respectively, the officials said.
They said Ram Bhai Baggi (50) of Maharashtra and Rajinder Kumar of Chandigarh passed away at Railpathri and the holy cave, respectively.
Another pilgrim died of cardiac arrest in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said in Jammu on Saturday.
Bikku Khakha of Punga, Maharashtra, was found dead on Saturday morning in a hotel room in Patnitop area of Ramban, official sources added.
They said the deceased along with his friends were on way to Amarnath cave and halted at Patnitop for a night stay.
The yatra was, however, progressing smoothly and 4,55,765 pilgrims had paid obeisance at the shrine till Saturday afternoon, the officials said.
The yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 2 coinciding with 'raksha bandhan' with the arrival of 'Chhari Mubarak' (holy mace) of Lord Shiva at the shrine.