2,203 pilgrims leave for Amarnath

Jammu: A batch of 2,203 Amarnath pilgrims left Jammu on Saturday for the cave shrine in the Kashmir Valley, officials said.

The authorities, however, declared the Baltal trek unsafe and suspended the yatra from there.

“Due to landslides and shooting stones, the trek from Baltal to the cave shrine is unsafe for the yatris,” an official said.

“It has been decided that no yatri will be allowed to move on this trek till the conditions are reviewed,” he added.

The pilgrims on Saturday left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy of 51 vehicles for Kashmir Valley.

Pilgrims using helicopter services only will be allowed to perform the yatra from Baltal side for the time being.

Arrangements have been made for free transport of yatris from Baltal to Pahalgam so that they perform the Y atra using the Pahalgam-cave shrine trek, authorities said.

Five persons including four pilgrims and a helper were killed by a landslide on July 3 in Brarimarg-Railpathri area of Baltal-Cave shrine trek.

Since then, no pilgrim has been allowed to use this trek for the yatra.