Another 12,500 Pilgrims Head For Amarnath5 July 2010
New Delhi: Over 12,500 pilgrims left for the Amarnath cave shrine Monday from south Kashmir's Nunwan (Pahalgam) and Baltal base camps. Despite incidents of violence in the Valley, the annual pilgrimage has been proceeding normally here since it began July 1. According to sources, 6,949 pilgrims left for the holy cave, located at the height of 13,500 feet above sea level, from Nunwan base camp while 5,578 left from Baltal base camp. Meanwhile, scores of buses, taxis and private vehicles carrying pilgrims continued to come to the two base camps Monday. Both mainstream and separatist politicians have asserted that the pilgrims are guests of the people living in Kashmir and it was every local's duty to lend a helping hand to the them in whatever manner possible. The pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine that houses a natural ice stalagmite worshipped as an icon of the Hindu god Shiva will end Aug 25.