JAMMU: The 21st batch of 1,877 pilgrims today left Jammu for the Amarnath cave shrine of Lord Shiva in south Kashmir Himalayas amid tight security.
As many as 2,22,619 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the shrine in till last evening.
With today's batch, a total of 62,160 pilgrims and sages have left Jammu for the pilgrimage in 21 batches since the yatra began from here on June 28.
Escorted by the CRPF and the police, the batch consisting of 1360 males, 492 females with 25 sadhus and sadhvis left in a convoy of 40 vehicles for Baltal and Pahalgam base camps this morning, officials said.
The government has mobilised a heavy security blanket of 35,000 to 40,000 troops including the police, the Army, the BSF and the CRPF.
This year's yatra will be eight days shorter than the last year's and conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7.
Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley, the Amarnath shrine, situated at a height of 3,888 metre from sea level, is 46 km from Pahalgam and 14 km from Baltal.