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Updated: July 25, 2010 01:31 IST

Amarnath pilgrimage resumes

Shujaat Bukhari
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After having remained suspended for two days following rains, the Amarnath pilgrimage resumed on Saturday with 14, 950 people headed for the cave shrine.

Men (9,342), women (4,295), children (570) and sadhus (743) left by the traditional route of Pahalgam and Baltal Sonmarg, an official spokesman said here.

Already, 2,97,052 pilgrims have visited the holy cave. In addition, according to tourism sources, over 1.93 lakh domestic and foreign tourists have visited the Pahalgam health resort.

Assistance booths

Various departments — including CAPD, Information, Tourism, Revenue, SRTC, Labour and BSNL — have made arrangements for ensuring a hassle-free pilgrimage. Tourist information booths have been set up at all halting stations such as Nunwan, Chandanwari, Sheshnag, Panjtharni and the holy cave, according to the spokesman.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra, who is also chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, reviewed the pilgrimage with chief executive officer R.K. Goyal, additional CEO Saugat Biswas and other officials here on Saturday.

The pilgrimage, according a Raj Bhavan spokesman, is progressing satisfactorily and till Friday evening around 2,90,000 people had darshan at the holy cave. About 21,000 people took a helicopter service from Baltal and Pahalgam to Panjtarni.

On Saturday morning, over 2,500 pilgrims left Jammu for the Nunwan and Baltal base camps.

Mr. Vohra regretted that 28 pilgrims had lost their lives due to cardiac and respiratory ailments.

Mr. Goyal urged people to undergo medical check-up before embarking on the pilgrimage in view of the arduous terrain and high altitude.





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