A fresh batch of nearly 5000 pilgrims on Thursday left the Baltal base camp despite cloudy conditions to pay obeisance at the 3,880 metre Amarnath cave shrine in South Kashmir, even as the yatra remained suspended from Jammu due to bad weather for the third day in a row triggering protests by devotees.
"A group of 4,912 pilgrims were allowed from the Baltal base camp, 100 kms from here, towards the cave shrine this morning although the weather was cloudy," official sources said.
Of them, 2300 pilgrims performed 'darshan' of the naturally formed ice-shivlingam by this afternoon, raising the number of pilgrims who had offered their prayers at the shrine to 14,778 since the commencement of the yatra on June 15, the sources said.
While 7,592 pilgrims offered prayers on the first day, 4,886 offered their prayers on Wednesday, they said adding the number included those pilgrims who visited the cave shrine, using the chopper service.
The yatra is going on smoothly and there is no report of rainfall or snow along the 16-km track from Baltal to the cave so far although sky remained cloudy, they said.
Due to bad weather the yatra from Jammu to the holy cave remained suspended for the third consecutive day today sparking protest by yatris who staged a dharna at Bagwati Nagar base camp and shouted slogans against the administration and the shrine board accusing them of failing to conduct the yatra smoothly.