Jammu: The 28th batch of 1,602 pilgrims on Thursday left from Jammu for 3,880-metre-high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, officials said.
They left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here in a convoy of 55 vehicles amid heavy security of CRPF this morning, the officials said.
First to leave were 596 pilgrims, heading for Baltal, in 21 vehicles followed by the second convoy of 34 vehicles carrying 1,006 pilgrims for Pahalgam, they said.
The number of pilgrims visiting cave shrine have drastically fallen in past three days mostly due to bad weather conditions, the officials said.
The annual 43-day yatra commenced on June 30 from the twin routes — traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag and 14-km shorter Baltal in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal.
Till Wednesday, over 2.33 lakh pilgrims had offered their prayers at the cave shrine, housing the naturally formed ice-shivlingam, the officials said.
The yatra is scheduled to end on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
A total of 36 people mostly pilgrims have died during the on-going yatra till date, excluding 15 pilgrims, who died in the flash floods at Amarnath cave shrine on July 1.