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Amarnath Yatra 2023: First batch of pilgrims begins journey towards cave shrine from Baltal base camp | VIDEO

Amarnath Yatra 2023: The 62-day pilgrimage was flagged off by Deputy Commissioner, Ganderbal, Shyambir, along with senior officials of the Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board and the police, at the Baltal base camp.

Edited By: Sheenu Sharma Ganderbal (J&K) Updated on: July 01, 2023 10:13 IST
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Image Source : PTI Pilgrims on their way to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath at Baltal in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir

Amarnath Yatra 2023: The annual Amarnath Yatra began today (July 1) with the first batch of pilgrims setting out from the base camp in Baltal for the cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas. The 62-day pilgrimage was flagged off by Deputy Commissioner, Ganderbal, Shyambir, along with senior officials of the Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board and the police, at the Baltal base camp.

Baltal, in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district, is one of the twin routes for the annual pilgrimage. The other one is the Pahalgam route in south Kashmir's Anantnag district. The pilgrims will undertake a 12-km journey from the base camp to the holy cave shrine located at an altitude of about 13,000 feet.

All arrangements for the annual pilgrimage, including those related to security, have been put in place.

Deputy Commissioner Shyambir said about 6,000 yatris arrived at the base camp. "I wish the yatra goes on smoothly. I request the yatris to carry their RFID cards," he told reporters here.

Shyambir also said that volunteers and mountain rescue teams were posted along the track. The yatris can seek their help if needed, he added.

The official also asserted that the yatra would not be possible without the support of the local people. Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday (June 30) flagged off the first batch of 3,488 pilgrims from the Jammu base camp.

Over three lakh pilgrims have so far registered themselves for the yatra. Security personnel have been deployed for the pilgrimage. Security along the Baltal and Pahalgam routes has been beefed up. New security pickets have been set up, officials said.

The pilgrimage will culminate on August 31 (Thursday).

2nd batch of pilgrims leaves Jammu camp:

A second batch of more than 4,400 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp on Saturday in a secured convoy on a pilgrimage to the 3,888-meter-high Amarnath cave shrine. The pilgrims left the base camp in the morning in a cavalcade of 188 vehicles. With this, the number of pilgrims who left for the Amarnath cave shrine from the Jammu base camp climbs to 7,904, officials said.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha flagged off the first batch of pilgrims for the annual Amarnath Yatra from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp on Friday. The 62-day-long pilgrimage commenced from Kashmir on Saturday on the twin tracks- the traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag district and the shorter but steep 14-km-long Baltal route in Ganderbal district.

"We are very happy to start for Amarnath. I have always longed to see 'ice lingum' of Lord Shiva," 62-year-old Surinder Joshi from Rajasthan. Joshi is undertaking the pilgrimage along with his wife Kusum.

A multi-tier security setup has been activated in and around the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the annual pilgrimage. Thirty-three accommodation centres have been set up across Jammu and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are being issued to the pilgrims. Five counters have been set up for the registration of pilgrims who intend to undertake the yatra.

So far, more than 3.5 lakh people have registered themselves online for the yatra.

(With agencies inputs) 

ALSO READ: Amarnath Yatra 2023: Fake registration racket busted by district administration in Samba

ALSO READ: Amarnath Yatra 2023: Over 3 lakh pilgrims registered so far, informs Shrine board | DETAILS

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