9,000 people begin Amarnath Yatra on 25th day
Thirty-six pilgrims have died so far during this year's Amarnath Yatra
Around 9,000 pilgrims performed the ongoing Amarnath Yatra on its 25th day as another batch of 2,372 Yatris left Jammu for Kashmir on Wednesday.
Officials said, "Around 9,000 Yatris had 'darshan' inside the holy cave on Tuesday while another batch of 2,372 Yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy for the Valley this morning.
"Of these 2,372 pilgrims there are 1,955 male, 357 female, six children, 51 Sadhus and three Sadhvis.
"Since it started on July 1, so far nearly 3.50 lakh pilgrims have performed the Amarnath Yatra."
Thirty-six pilgrims have died so far during this year's Amarnath Yatra.
Yatris approach the Himalayan cave shrine either from the traditional south Kashmir Pahalgam route which involves an uphill trek of 43 kilometres from Pahalgam base camp or from the north Kashmir Baltal base camp which involves 13 Km uphill trek.
Those using the traditional Pahalgam route take 3-4 days to reach the cave shrine while those using the Baltal route return to the base camp the same day after having darshan inside the cave shrine situated 3888 metres above the sea-level.
Helicopter services are also available for Yatris on both routes.
The cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that devotees believe symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.
The ice stalagmite structure wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon.
This year's 62-day long Amarnath Yatra started on July 1 and will end on August 31 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.
To protect the pilgrims from high altitude sickness, authorities have banned all junk food at the free community kitchens called the 'Langars' that have been set up along both the routes of the Yatra.
The banned items include all bottled drinks, halwai items, fried foods and tobacco based products.