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    Amarnath YatraAmarnath Yatra begins as 14,000 pilgrims visit Holy Cave on day 1

    Amarnath Yatra begins as 14,000 pilgrims visit Holy Cave on day 1


    Second batch of 4029 pilgrims leave from Base Camp

    Srinagar/Jammu, June 29: Amid tight security arrangements, the 2024 began on Saturday as the first batch of around 14,000 pilgrims visited the Holy Cave Shrine from the base camps in Baltal and Pahalgam.

     “On the first day of Amarnath Yatra, around 14,000 pilgrims paid obeisance at the holy cave (final darshan),” an official said. He said around 13,827 pilgrims paid obeisance while thousands of others have left Jammu's Bhagwati Nagar-based Yatri Niwas base camp in the last two days.

    Hundreds of enthusiastic pilgrims, most of them walking on foot, were seen climbing the mountains to have a glimpse of Lord Shiva at the cave in the Himalayas of . The pilgrims, while chanting ‘Bam Bam Bhole' and ‘Jai Barfani Baba ki', were seen moving ahead to reach the shrine to pay obeisance. Most of them were walking on foot while some were on horseback. The Amarnath cave is reached through two routes – Nunwan in Pahalgam, and Baltal in Ganderbal.

    Officials said the first batches of pilgrims were flagged off by the Deputy Commissioners of Ganderbal and Anantnag, along with senior government functionaries.

    From Baltal base camp, the pilgrims will undertake a 13-km journey to the shrine located at an altitude of 3,880 metre that will comparatively require a 48 km journey from the traditional Nunwan-Pahalgam route.

    “All arrangements for the annual pilgrimage, including security, have been put in place,” an official said.

    The J&K government has put up a thick security blanket to secure pilgrims undertaking the Amarnath Yatra. Besides thousands of policemen and central armed police force (CAPF) personnel, the Army has been deployed on the outer parameters and higher reaches along the yatra route.

    Meanwhile, a second batch of 4029 pilgrims of the Shri Amarnath Yatra left on Saturday in a fleet of 200 vehicles for twin routes to Pahalgam in South Kashmir and Baltal in North Kashmir to the holy cave from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas base camp here.

    Official sources said 2179 pilgrims, comprising 1670 males, 332 females, two children, 144 sadhus and 31 sadhvis left for the Pahalgam base camp in a fleet of 96 vehicles (48 each Heavy Motor Vehicles and Light Motor Vehicles).

    Meanwhile, in Baltal, 1850 pilgrims, comprising 1264 males, 448 females, 19 children, 87 sadhus, and 31 sadhvis, left in a fleet of 104 vehicles comprising 40 HMVs and 64 LMVs.

    Stringent security arrangements have been put in place for the smooth conduct of the yatra.

    Thousands of security personnel from the police, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and other paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure security. Aerial surveillance will also be carried out.

    The 52-day pilgrimage will conclude on August 19. More than 4.5 lakh pilgrims paid their obeisance at the cave shrine last year.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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