The batch comprising 196 men, 71 women, five children and 50 sadhus left in a cavalcade of 10 vehicles from Bhagwati Nagar base camp here at 4:30 AM, a police official said.

Amid tight security arrangements provided by CRPF, the convoy has already crossed Patnitop on Jammu-Srinagar national highway, he said.

With today's batch, as many as 46,208 pilgrims have so far left from the Jammu base camp for the shrine.

The cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon. Devotees call the stalagmite structure the 'Holy Lingam' and believe it symbolises mystical powers of Lord Shiva.

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