Batch of 603 pilgrims leaves for Amarnath cave shrine

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A batch of 603 pilgrims on Thursday left the Bhagwati base camp in Jammu for the cave shrine of Amarnath, situated at the height of 3,880 metres in south Kashmir Himalayas, a police official said.

The batch left for Kashmir in the wee hours in a fleet of 16 vehicles under tight security, he said.

So far, 2.65 lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance to Lord Shiva at the shrine since the yatra commenced from the twin routes of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district on June 28.

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However, the number of pilgrims undertaking the yatra has seen a marked dip over the past week due to the early melting of the naturally formed ice- ‘Shivlingam’ at the sanctum sanctorum.

On Wednesday, 1,874 pilgrims paid obeisance at the cave shrine, the police official said.

The 60-day pilgrimage will conclude on August 26, coinciding with the festival of ‘Raksha Bandhan’.

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