The batch comprising 184 men, 65 women, three children and 51 sadhus left in a cavalcade of nine vehicles from Bhagwati Nagar base camp here at 4:35 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, adding, the pilgrims would reach the twin base camps at Pahalgam and Baltal by this evening.

With this batch, as many as 46,511 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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