A fresh batch of 4,956 pilgrims today left the base camp here for the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas under tight security arrangements. The 11th batch of pilgrims, including 1,454 women and 97 'sadhus' (seers), left in a convoy of 161 vehicles from Bhagwati Nagar here for the twin base camps of Pahalgam in Anantnag and Baltal in Ganderbal district in the wee hours, officials said. While 2,677 pilgrims, including 632 women and 97 Sadhus opted for the traditional 36-km Pahalgam track, 2,279 pilgrims (including 822 women) are performing the yatra through the shorter 12-km Baltal route, they said.
The 60-day Amaranth yatra had commenced from the twin routes on June 28 and will conclude on Shravan Purnima' (Raksha Bandhan) on August 26. The officials said the yatra was progressing smoothly from both the routes of Pahalgam and Baltal. The pilgrimage, however, is likely to get affected by inclement weather as the meteorological department has predicted 'widespread to fairly widespread rains' during the next four days in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir.