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Jammu, July 29 (IANS) A small batch of 200 pilgrims left Jammu on Saturday to perform the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.
This is the smallest number of pilgrims to leave for the valley on a single day during since the yatra began on June 29. It will conclude on August 7 on Shravan Purnima coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival.
"A batch of 200 pilgrims comprising 180 males and 20 females left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas at 2.55 a.m. in an escorted convoy of nine vehicles," officials said here.
All vehicles carrying pilgrims have to cross the Jawahar tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar highway before 3.30 p.m. for security reasons.
This precautionary measure has been taken to ensure that the pilgrims reach the two base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal before sunset.
So far, over 2.50 lakh pilgrims have reached the cave shrine situated at 3,888 metres above sea-level.
Last year, only 2.30 lakh pilgrims performed the yatra.
Forty-eight pilgrims have lost their lives this year.
Of these, 17 died in a road accident, eight in a terror attack while 23 of natural causes.