The batch comprising 65 men, six women, one child and 51 sadhus left in three vehicles from Bhagwati Nagar base camp here at 4.45 AM, a police official said.

Amid tight security arrangements provided by CRPF, the pilgrims would reach their twin base camps at Pahalgam and Baltal by this evening, he said.

With today's batch, as many as 48,222 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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