Amarnath Yatra 2018: Fourth batch of pilgrims leaves from Jammu

Srinagar, July 1: The fourth batch of 6,877 Amarnath Yatra pilgrims left from Jammu on Sunday as the annual pilgrimage resumed after three days as weather showed signs of improvment.

Pilgrims from the two base camps in the Kashmir Valley were permitted to move towards the cave shrine.The Amarnath Yatra was suspended on both Pahalgam and Baltal routes on Saturday as the incessant rains had turned the tracks slippery.

The India Metreological Department has predicted that flood-affected Jammu and Kashmir is likely to receive only scattered rainfall over next three days.

“The first group of 2,790 pilgrims bound for the Baltal base camp left at 3.10 am in an escorted convoy of 99 vehicles,” police said.

“The remaining group of 4,087 yatris bound for the Pahalgam base camp left at 3.50 am in another escorted convoy of 130 vehicles.”

A flood alert was issued in south and central Kashmir after many parts of the state were lashed by monsoon rains intermittently since June 27, leaving thousands of pilgrims who had reached the twin base camps of Baltal in Ganderbal district and Pahalgam in Anantnag district stranded

However, the pilgrimage faced frequent disruptions owing to continuous rainfall.

The 60-day yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 26 coinciding with the ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival. Situated 12,756 feet above sea-level, the Himalayan cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that waxes and wanes with the phases of moon.

Devotees believe the ice stalagmite structure symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

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