346 pilgrims leave for Amarnath

Jammu: A small batch of 346 pilgrims left here on Friday to perform the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.

Friday’s number of pilgrims is the lowest ever since the 40-day long yatra to the Himalayan cave shrine began on June 29.

“Already over 2.50 lakh pilgrims have performed this year’s yatra which will conclude on August 7,” officials of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) said.

The SASB headed by Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra manages the affairs of the yatra.

The pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas at 2.45 a.m. in an escorted convoy of 16 vehicles, officials said.

For security reasons, all vehicles carrying pilgrims to the cave shrine in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district must cross the Jawahar Tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar highway before 3.30 a.m.

This precautionary measure has been taken to ensure that pilgrims reach the two base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal before sunset.

The Yatra will conclude on ‘Shravan Purnima’ coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival.