Jammu, July 23 (IANS) Another batch of 1,141 pilgrims left Jammu on Sunday for the Kashmir Valley to perform the annual Amarnath Yatra, officials said.
“The pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas at 2.50 a.m. in an escorted convoy of 46 vehicles for the Kashmir Valley,” officials said.
As a security measure, no vehicle carrying pilgrims is allowed to cross the Jawahar Tunnel on Jammu-Srinagar national highway after 3.30 p.m.
This precautionary step has been taken to ensure that all pilgrims reach the base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal before sunset.
All yatra related security deployments are withdrawn on the highway after 7.30 p.m.
The 40-day long annual Amarnath Yatra, which started on June 29, entered 25th day on Sunday and would conclude on August 7 on Shravan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival.
The pilgrims approach the cave shrine situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level either from the traditional south Kashmir’s Pahalgam route or north Kashmir’s Baltal route.
Those using the Pahalgam route have to trek a distance of 46 km to reach the cave shrine while those taking the Baltal route have to trek a distance of 14 km.
Helicopter services are also available on both the routes.
So far, 48 pilgrims have died during this year’s yatra. Of the 48, seventeen died in a road accident, eight in a terror attack and 23 died of natural causes.
Over 35,000 security personnel have been deployed for the security of pilgrims this year.