The batch, which included 1,777 men, 494 women and 45 children, left in a convoy of 69 vehicles from Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu at 4:05 am, police said.

The convoy has already crossed Patnitop on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and is expected to reach destinations at Baltal and Pahalgam base camps by Thursday evening, they said.

As many as 25,670 pilgrims have so far left from the Jammu base camp for the Amarnath shrine.

Situated at an altitude of 13,000 feet, the Amarnath cave shrine houses the Holy Lingam, an ice stalagmite structure believed to symbolize Lord Shiva. For this year's yatra, 1,93,000 pilgrims have registered themselves with the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB).


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