Second batch of Amarnath pilgrims start journey

Jammu: A batch of 4,417 Amarnath pilgrims left a base camp here on Monday for the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir.

Over 1.5 lakh pilgrims from across the country have so far registered themselves for the 46-day long pilgrimage, which takes place from the 36-km Pahalgam track in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district and 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district.

The second batch comprising 4,417 pilgrims -- including 3,543 males, 843 females and 31 children -- left in a fleet of 142 vehicles from Bhagwati Nagar base camp here for Pahalgam and Baltal For the Pahalgam route, 2,800 pilgrims left the base camp, while 1,617 pilgrims for Baltal left in buses and light motor vehicles, which were escorted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), officials said.

The first batch was flagged off from here on Sunday. Multi-tier security arrangements have been made for smooth and successful conduct of the yatra concluding on August 15.

As many as 2.85 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave last year, while the number of pilgrims was 3.52 lakh in 2015, 3,20 lakh in 2016 and 2.60 lakh in 2017.

The CRPF inspector general of Jammu, A V Chauhan, had said on Sunday that all the necessary security arrangements had been put in place along the yatra route, base camps and halting stations for the safety of the pilgrims.

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