The annual Amarnath Yatra began today.Authorities had deployed adequate security for the yatries who would leave for the onward journey to the cave shrine today.
Amarnath yatra is an annual pilgrimage being made to Amarnath cave by thousands of Hindu devotees on challenging mountainous terrain.
Amarnath cave one of the major Hindu shrines and abode of Lord Shiva,has traditionally symbolised the inter-faith harmony for last one and half century as local Muslims have been receiving Hindu pilgrims with love and extending every possible help to make the yatra a success.
The first batch of around 12,000 pilgrims is set to leave from base camps at Pahalham in the south and Baltal, Sonamarg in the north tomorrow amid concerns about the weather which had put copious snow on the tracks in mid-summer.
Authorities say that a three-tier security wall has been established along the routes that will carry an estimated three hundred and fifty thousand human-beings from all over India into a fragile ecological zone within a span of 40 days.
The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) – headed by the state governor, NN Vohra – running the massive pilgrimage says it has successfully confronted rightwing groups lead by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to prevent them from starting well ahead of schedule.
According to reports, the elaborate security arrangements for the trek to the holy cave at 13, 000 feet above sea level also involve personnel from the army besides thousands of paramilitary CRPF men and the J&K police.
Tomorrow, 2000 pilgrims are to set off from Pahalgam for the four-day 34 km trek over difficult mountain terrain, while over 10,000 are at Baltal in Sonamarg to begin the shorter one-day journey to the cave from the north.
The government has put up emergency camps at key points on both routes to deal with crises requiring medical assistance and other forms of service in case of accidents or inclement weather.....
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