Pratham Pooja or first prayers were offered at Lord Amarnath in the holy cave on Monday. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, paid obeisance at the Sanctum Sanctorum and participated in the 'Pratham Pooja' ceremony.
The governor reviewed the arrangements made for the pilgrims at the yatra shrine camp and conveyed the shrine board's thanks to the state government, Army, Central Armed Police Forces, state police and all the other concerned agencies for their support and cooperation.
Satya Pal Malik heads the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) that manages the affairs of the yatra with the assistance of the state and central governments.
J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik, Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board,— ANI (@ANI) July 1, 2019
paid obeisance at the Sanctum Sanctorum and participated in the Pratham Pooja ceremony earlier today. Governor reviewed the arrangements made for the pilgrims at the Yatra Shrine Camp pic.twitter.com/G7hdZLAZBr
A total of 2,234 pilgrims, including 17 children, reached the base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal on Sunday as part of the first batch of this year's yatra.
Stringent security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of the annual pilgrimage, the officials said.
"A robust security cover has been put in place for the yatra which includes satellite and chip-based tracking of vehicles and pilgrims. The deployment of forces is in various layers to ensure smooth conduct of the pilgrimage," they said.
They said the governor, who was accompanied by the chief executive officer of the shrine board, Umang Narula, prayed for peace, harmony, progress, and prosperity in the state.
Governor Malik stressed the need for effective supervision and round the clock monitoring by the camp directors and all the functionaries involved in the management of the yatra to ensure its smooth conduct.
The governor lauded the people of Kashmir for making the annual pilgrimage a successful event ever since it is being observed.
Appreciating the valuable support of local people in the conduct of the yatra, Governer Malik described their role as the true essence of 'Kashmiriyat' which is exemplary for its communal harmony, the spokesman said.
The 46-day yatra will conclude on August 15, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.
Earlier in Jammu, a batch of 4,417 pilgrims left a base camp for the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir.
Over 1.5 lakh pilgrims from across the country have so far registered themselves for the 46-day long pilgrimage, which takes place from the 36-km Pahalgam track in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district and 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district.
The second batch comprising 4,417 pilgrims -- including 3,543 males, 843 females and 31 children -- left in a fleet of 142 vehicles from Bhagwati Nagar base camp for Pahalgam and Baltal.
For the Pahalgam route, 2,800 pilgrims left the base camp, while 1,617 pilgrims for Baltal left in buses and light motor vehicles, which were escorted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), officials said.
The first batch was flagged off from Jammu on Sunday.
The CRPF inspector general of Jammu, A V Chauhan, had said on Sunday that all the necessary security arrangements had been put in place along the yatra route, base camps and halting stations for the safety of the pilgrims.
WATCH VIDEO: Amarnath Yatra begins amid tight security; first batch leaves for cave shrine