Amarnath Yatra begins with arrival of first batch of pilgrims in Kashmir

amarnath yatra begins
Amarnath pilgrims (Photo - Web)

The annual Amarnath Yatra commenced on Friday as the first batch of 4,603 pilgrims arrived in the Kashmir valley amid tight security arrangements. The 52-day pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine, situated at an altitude of 3,880 meters, is set to begin officially on Saturday and conclude on August 19.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha flagged off the initial convoy of 231 vehicles from the Yatri Niwas base camp in Jammu early Friday morning. The pilgrims were welcomed by senior officials and local residents upon their arrival at the Navyug tunnel in Kulgam district’s Qazigund area.

“May the blessings of Baba Amarnath ji bring peace, happiness and prosperity to everyone’s life,” said Lt. Governor Sinha, extending his wishes for a safe and spiritually enriching journey to the pilgrims.

Sacred Yatra

The yatra will proceed along two routes: the traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag and the shorter 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbal. Authorities have implemented a three-tier security system, including area domination and checkpoints, to ensure the safety of the pilgrims.

Kulgam Deputy Commissioner Athar Aamir Khan assured that proper arrangements are in place for the pilgrims’ comfort and safety. “We welcome all of them. There are proper arrangements in place for them,” Khan told reporters.

This year’s yatra has seen over 3.50 lakh registrations, highlighting its enduring popularity. To support the pilgrims, 125 community kitchens (langars) have been set up along the routes, backed by more than 6,000 volunteers.

Traffic restrictions will be in effect on various routes from June 28 to August 19, with daily advisories to be issued to minimize inconvenience to locals and pilgrims alike.

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