Record number of devotees to visit Amarnath
Jammu: Just three weeks into the annual Amarnath yatra in Jammu and Kashmir, the number of pilgrims visiting the cave shrine is heading for a record after crossing the half-a-million mark Friday.
The previous record of 537,0000 pilgrims of 2008 can be broken any time now as nearly 520,0000 pilgrims have already had a glimpse of the ice stalagmite that is considered a symbol of Lord Shiva, says an official of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board that manages the yatra.
According to Pritpal Singh, the number of pilgrims who had paid obeisance at the shrine until Friday morning was about 520,000. "This is a record in itself," he said.
The earlier record was set in 2008, when the pilgrimage was allowed for two months. At that time 537,000 had visited the shrine, but this time the number has crossed the half-million mark in just 23 days.
The pilgrimage that started June 29 will last until Aug 13.
There has been a rush at the shrine, located at 13,500 feet above sea level, despite it being halted on several occasions due to rains and a slippery track.