At Least 132 devotees leave Jammu for Amarnath Yatra

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JAMMU: Nearly 132 pilgrims left for Amartnath Yatra from Jammu on Friday, officials stated.

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“At 2.55 am, the devotees left for Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in around five vehicles,” officials asserted.

As per S.D. Singh Jamwal, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu zone, the devotees very last batch will leave for Cave Shrine from Jammu on August 5. No devotee would be permitted to go to the valley because the annual Amarnath Yatra is ending on August 7.

In 2017, over 40-day long Yatra began on June 29 and will end on August 7 on Shravan Purnima concurring with Raksha Bandhan festival.

The end of Amarnath Yatra will be symbolized by the onset of the ‘Chhari Mubarak’ (Holy Mace) at the cave shrine on August 7 following which the concluding ‘Puja’ will be performed within the shrine.

The cave shrine is located at 3,888 metres above the sea-level in Jammu. It is built up with an ice stalagmite structure.

Pilgrims thinks that the ice stalagmite structure marks mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

The pilgrims go to cave shrine by covering a distance of about 46-km long trad itional Pahalagam-Chandanwari-Sheshnag-Panchtarni trek or even by passing through the 14-km long Baltal-Dumail trek.

At Baltal and Pahalgam, helicopter services are also available for the devotees. On Thursday, nearly 2,57,589 devotees had performed ‘darshan’ within the cave shrine.

In 2016, about 2.30 lakh devotees carried out Amarnath Yatra while about 48 devotees died during the Amarnath Yatra attack. Among them, about 17 died lost lives in the road accident and eight others died in the militant attack. On the other hand, 23 others lost lives due to natural calamities.

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More than 35,000 security personnel have been enforced in the area for the safety of people.

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