Amarnath Yatra concludes, over 2.85 lakh pilgrims offer prayers
The annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas concluded today with over 2.85 lakh pilgrims offering prayers at the naturally-formed ice-Shivlingam.
A total of 2,85,006 people paid obeisance at the shrine; the pilgrimage commenced on 28 June through Baltal and Pahalgam routes.
The number of pilgrims performing the Yatra this year is higher than 2.6 lakh last year.
Annual Amarnath Yatra concludes; 2.85 lakh pay obeisance
38 people died during Yatra this year
Thirty-eight people, including pilgrims, service providers, and pony-wallas, died during the course of the Yatra this year, according to officials. The deaths were due to weather-related incidents or natural causes, the officials added.
Various security measures taken for smooth conduct of Yatra
For the first time, the government had used radio frequency (RF) tags to track the Amarnath-bound vehicles, while the CRPF introduced motorcycle squads with cameras and various life-saving equipment.
The security was heightened for this year's Yatra in view of the militant attack on a bus carrying pilgrims last year that left eight of them dead and 18 others injured.
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Officials says this year's Yatra was peaceful
Around 40,000 security personnel from the Jammu and Kashmir Police, paramilitary forces, National Disaster Response Force and the Army, were deployed for this year's pilgrimage, the officials said. They said the Yatra this year was peaceful.
Chhari Mubarak as part of Yatra tradition reached Amarnath shrine
The holy mace of Lord Shiva, popularly known as 'Chhari Mubarak', carried by a group of sadhus and devotees led by its custodian Mahant Deepindra Giri, arrived at the holy cave shrine in the wee hours for the day-long prayers.
The group of sadhus and devotees trekked 42km from Pahalgam to reach the cave shrine with night halts at Chandanwari, Sheshnag, and Panchtarani.
Top officials pray for peace, harmony, prosperity in J&K
Additional Chief Executive Officer of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) Bhupinder Kumar and Ganderbal Deputy Commissioner Piyush Singla visited the cave shrine early this morning and prayed for sustained peace, harmony, progress, and prosperity in the state.
Camps asked to ensure all bio-degradable, non-biodegradable wastes are disposed
The officers interacted with the camp officials and other officers at the holy cave and reviewed the ongoing sanitation and camp cleaning initiatives being undertaken by them.
They complimented the civil and police administrations of Anantnag and Ganderbal districts, J&K Police, Central Armed Police Forces, Army, various state government departments, and all other agencies for the smooth conduct of the Yatra, the officials said.