Undeterred by controversy and strike, pilgrims reach Amarnath

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Srinagar, Jun 26 (UNI) Undeterred by massive protests against the forest land transfer to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and general strike in the Kashmir valley, yatris from different parts of the country continued to undertake the pilgrimage to the holy Amarnath cave.

Amarnath yatra, suspended yesterday because of heavy rush at Baltal and Pahalgam base camps, was resumed with a fresh batch of 2,906 pilgrims arriving here this evening under tight security cover.

Officials at Baltal and Pahalgam base camps said the pilgrimage was going on smoothly.

They said about 7000 pilgrims, including women, children and sadhus left Baltal this morning for the Amarnath cave. A large number of yatris were on their way back to the base camp after having 'darshan' at the cave shrine.

A large number of pilgrims also left the traditional Pahalgam base camp.

More than three lakh pilgrims have so far had 'darshan' of the self-made ice shivlingam, which was fully formed at starting of the two-month-long yatra on June 18.

This is for the first time in the centuries old history of the Amarnath yatra that three lakh pilgrims visited the shrine during the first one week.

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