Pilgrimage to holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas was progressing smoothly as fresh batches of pilgrims left Baltal and Nunwan Pahalgam base camp this morning for the shrine.
Meanwhile, Chhari-Mubara, holy Silver Mace of Lord Shiva will leave for the cave shrine from Amreshwar temple in the heart of the city tomorrow, when separatist organizations have called for
Pilgrimage was going on smoothly though the number of yatris had dropped considerably during the past few weeks mainly due to unrest, official sources said today. The weather is pleasant on both traditional Pahalgam and shortest Baltal tracks, they added.
About 50 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine since early this morning.
A yatra official said on the 41st day of pilgrimage yesterday only 197 Yatris, lowest so far, paid obeisance at the Holy Cave.
With this a total of 2,19,294 Yatris had darshan at the Holy Cave since commencement of the 48-day-long annual pilgrimage from July 2. The annual yatra will conclude on August 18 when the Chhari Mubarak will be taken inside the cave shrine for final darshan
He said 73 pilgrims, including women and sadhus, left Baltal base camp till 0800 hrs for the cave shrine. The yatris are likely to reach the cave shrine and pay obeisance this afternoon after covering the 14-km-long hilly track on foot. However, some pilgrims prefer to cover the distance on horseback while others hire palkhis or dadis to reach the shrine.
Meanwhile, pilgrims who had paid obeisance yesterday started return journey towards the Baltal base camp early this morning after overnight stay at cave shrine.
A fresh batch of yatris also left Nunwan Pahalgam base camp this morning for Chandanwari, which can be reached by transport. However, some pilgrim, particularly sadhus, prefer to cover the distance on foot.
Meanwhile, pilgrims who had night halt at Chandanwari and other halting stations on the traditional route have also started their foot journey towards the cave shrine this morning.
According to Mahant Deependra Giri, custodian of the Chhari Mubarak, the holy Mace will leave Amreshwar temple, Akhara Building, Budshah Chowk,tomorrow morning for the cave shrine.