Jammu, July 11 (IANS) Another batch of 5,486 pilgrims on Thursday left winter capital Jammu to perform the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.
Since it started on July 1, over 1.30 lakh pilgrims had ‘Darshan’ inside the Cave shrine situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level in Kashmir Himalayas.
The Cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva according to the devotees.
The ice stalagmite structure waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.
Police said here on Thursday another batch of 5,486 Yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in two escorted convoys for the Valley today.
“Of these, 2,129 Yatris are going to Baltal base camp while 3,357 are going to Pahalgam base camp,” police said.
Pilgrims approach the Cave shrine either from the shorter 14-Kms long Baltal trek or through the longer 45-Kms long Pahalgam trek.
Helicopter services are also available for pilgrims at both the base camps.
Local Muslims have always lent a helping hand to ensure that their Hindu brethren are able to perform the Yatra with ease and convenience.
Acknowledging this, state governor, Satya Pal Malik said the smooth and peaceful conduct of the Amarnath Yatra has been possible because of the support and active engagement of the local Muslims.
The Cave shrine was discovered in 1,850 by a Muslim Shepherd, Buta Malik.
Legend says a Sufi saint rewarded the shepherd with a bag of charcoal that turned out to be gold.
Descendants of the shepherd have received a portion of the offerings at the Cave shrine for over 150 years.
This year’s Amarnath Yatra will end on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.