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Fresh batch leaves for Amarnath

india Updated: Jun 25, 2008 20:25 IST

PTI
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Over 15,000 pilgrims proceeded to the shrine of Amarnath from the base camps of Nunwan and Baltal in Kashmir on Wednesday morning even as devotees camping in Jammu were stopped from moving to the holy cave.

Pilgrims putting up at Bagwati Nagar camp in Jammu were not allowed to proceed to the twin base camps located on the foothills of south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said.

This is the second time within a week that the yatra was suspended from Jammu. Earlier, on June 20, the march from Jammu was suspended due to bad weather and heavy rains across the valley.

Although officials said the pilgrims were stopped at Jammu due to heavy rush at the base camps in Kashmir, sources said the prevailing law-and-order situation in the wake of violent protests across Kashmir Valley prompted authorities to stop the pilgrims as a precautionary measure.

A part of a glacier caved in at Sangam, three km ahead of the 3,880-metre-high cave where the twin tracks of Pahalgam and Baltal meet, yesterday afternoon prompting authorities to suspend the yatra temporarily. However, the track was restored last evening and the stranded pilgrims were allowed to move to their respective destinations.

Chanting religious slogans, a fresh batch of 7,590 pilgrims left Nunwan base camp on the 46-km Pahalgam route in Anantnag district this morning to pay obeisance at the cave housing the naturally formed ice-Shivlingam.

Another batch of 7607 devotees were allowed to proceed towards the cave shrine from Baltal, the shortest 12-km route in Ganderbal district.

The yatra was going on smoothly from both the tracks, the officials said.