There were already hundreds of pilgrims for the past few days at Baltal and Nunwan Pahalgam base camps who were joined by more than 2,200 more yatris who had arrived from Jammu yesterday, officials said here. They said first batch of pilgrims, including women and sadhus, left Baltal base camp for holy cave through shortest yatra route early this morning.
The yatris are scheduled to reach the cave shrine by this afternoon after tracking hilly terrain on foot to pay obeisance and have darshan of the self-made Ice-Shivlingam in the cave. Majority of the pilgrims will return to base camp through the same route. Meanwhile, another group of pilgrims left Nunwan Pahalgam base camp for Chandanwari, the last motorable halting station on traditional route.
Though devotees reach the halting station in vehicles, but sadhus and some other yatris prefer to cover the distance on foot. Official said majority pilgrims will have night halt at Chandanwari to leave for next halting station in the morning tomorrow while some prefer to cover the distance to reach next halting station today. The authorities have made unprecedented security and other arrangements for the yatris, undertaking the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave. (UNI)