Undeterred by terror attack, 3,500 pilgrims leave Jammu for Amarnath shrine
The incident seems have done little to discourage pilgrims from travelling to Amarnath. While a batch of 3,289 pilgrims left Jammu barely seven hours after the Monday night attack, the number climbed to 3,791 on Wednesday.india Updated: Jul 13, 2017 23:57 IST
Undeterred by the July 10 terror attack that left seven dead and 19 injured, a fresh batch of 3,500 Amarnath Yatris left for the cave shrine from the Yatri Niwas base camp in a convoy of 153 vehicles under heavy security.
In fact, the incident seems have done little to discourage pilgrims from travelling to Amarnath. While a batch of 3,289 pilgrims left Jammu barely seven hours after the Monday night attack, the number climbed to 3,791 on Wednesday.
“While 1,377 pilgrims – including 407 women – left for Baltal in 65 vehicles, as many as 2,123 – including 375 women and 97 sadhus – made their way to Pahalgam in 88 vehicles,” a nodal officer said.
Over 1.68 lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine, located 3,888 metres above sea level, since June 29. Wednesday marked the 14th day of the yatra.
The Jammu-Srinagar highway, used by the pilgrims to reach the Valley, was closed on Wednesday due to landslides triggered by heavy rains at PanthIal in Ramban district. However, traffic was restored by evening. “The convoy of 153 vehicles that left Jammu around 3.25 am on Thursday crossed Jawahar tunnel at 3 pm. Those reaching Shaitani Nullah in Ramban district after 3.30 pm will not be allowed to cross it. The question of unregistered vehicles doesn’t arise at all,” said a police officer.
Jawahar tunnel is the entry point to Kashmir.
The cave houses an ice stalagmite that waxes and wanes with the size of the moon. Devotees believe the geological structure symbolises the mythical powers of Lord Shiva.
The 40-day-long yatra to the Himalayan cave shrine started on June 29, and will end on the Shravan Purnima (August 7).