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Registration for Amarnath yatra reaches halfway mark
June 19, 2003 22:46 IST
Registrations for this year's pilgrimage to the cave shrine at Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir, beginning on July 12, has already crossed the halfway mark of the targeted 112,000 pilgrims.
"We have registered 61,723 pilgrims till today at 84 different J&K Bank branches across the country," officials sources said, barely four days after registration commenced.
While the shrine board has fixed 112,000 target of pilgrims for this year's annual yatra, an additional quota of 10,000 to 13,000 has also been fixed, taking the total to 125,000 pilgrims, they said.
Last year, 110,793 persons made the yatra to the cave shrine, they said, while 119,037 visited the shrine in 2001.
The record so far was 173,334 pilgrims in 2000, followed by 149,920 in 1998, 120,000 in 1996, 114,366 in 1999 and 79,035 in 1997.
This year one more route though Baltal has been opened for pilgrimage apart from the usual Pahalgam-Chandanwari route, tourism department officials said.
Besides, 3,500 pilgrims would be allowed to trek to the cave shrine from Jammu each day, they said.
In Jammu, 26 places have been demarcated with full security for housing pilgrims during the month-long yatra.
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