Jammu: Over 6.34 lakh pilgrims have paid
obeisance at the Amarnath shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas,
surpassing the previous record of 5.33 lakh devotees.
As many as 6,34,788 lakh pilgrims have visited the
13,500 ft high cave shrine till today, yatra officials said.
This figure has surpassed the previous record of 5.33
lakh arrivals in 2008. It is also for the first time in the
yatra`s history that such a huge number of pilgrims visited
the shrine during the first 23 days.
On July 21, the figure touched 5 lakh mark and eight
days later, 6 lakh pilgrims visited the cave shrine.
The annual pilgrimage commenced on June 29 from Baltal
in Ganderbal district and Pahalgam in Anantnag district. It is
scheduled to end tomorrow coinciding with `Raksha Bandhan`.
In 2004, the duration of the pilgrimage was increased
from 30 to 45 days and in that year, a record 3.82 lakh
pilgrims visited the shrine.
In the next year, 3.88 lakh pilgrims visited the shrine,
followed by 3.47 lakh in 2006 and 2.96 lakh in 2007.
The year 2009 saw 3.81 lakh pilgrims, while 4.56 lakh
devotees offered their prayers at the shrine despite the last
year`s unrest in the Kashmir Valley.
"The yatra is going on smoothly and pilgrims are paying
obeisance without any difficulty," they said.