JAMMU : Over 2.94 lakh pilgrims have visited the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas in the first 22 days of the ongoing 45-day annual pilgrimage. The figure is higher than the number of yatris who visited the cave shrine during the yatra in 2018.An official of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) said 2,94,040 pilgrims have visited the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas in the first 22 days this year. An SASB official said going by the rush and enthusiasm among the yatris, this year’s yatra figures will be higher than previous years.
The 45-day annual Amarnath yatra started from both traditional Pahalgam route in south Kashmir and shortest Baltal route in central Kashmir on July 1. The yatra will conclude on August 15, which coincides with Raksha Bandhan.
The SASB official said on Tuesday 8,659 yatris paid obeisance at the shrine He said the highest number of 20,915 pilgrims had darshan of Shivling on July 20. The lowest number of 6,114 pilgrims had visited the cave shrine on July 19.
The authorities have made tight security arrangements for smooth and peaceful conduct of the yatra.The civilian vehicular movement on 96 kms strength from Nashri to Qazigund on Srinagar-Jammu highway is restricted for five hours daily from 10 am to 3 pm for smooth passage of yatra vehicles.
The yatra convoys are escorted by bomb and bullet proof security force vehicles all the way from Jammu to the cave shrine and yatris remain under the vigilant eyes of the security personnel.The authorities disallowed yatra from Jammu to Srinagar for two days (July 8 and July 13) in view of the shutdown called by separatists in the Valley.