Pilgrims leave Baltal base camp to begin Amarnath Yatra

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J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha will join the pilgrims at the cave shrine to perform the traditional Puja that heralds the beginning of the Yatra…reports Asian Lite News

The second batch of 5,770 pilgrims left from Jammu to the Valley to perform the Amarnath Yatra which begins in south Kashmir’s Himalayan cave shrine on Thursday.

Officials said the 5,770 pilgrims who left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu for the Yatra include 1,670 bound for north Kashmir Baltal base camp and 4,100 bound for Pahalgam base camp.

“150 vehicles are carrying Pahalgam-bound Yatris while 81 vehicles are carrying Baltal-bound Yatris”, officials said.

The pilgrims left the Baltal base camp for the cave shrine this morning.

J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha will join the pilgrims at the cave shrine to perform the traditional Puja that heralds the beginning of the Yatra.

Locals working as ponywallahs, porters, guides and escorts are accompanying the pilgrims from the Baltal base camp to the cave shrine during the 14 kilometre long trek.

Yatris using the Baltal route will return to the base camp the same day after Darshan at the cave shrine. Helicopter services are also available for the pilgrims at Baltal.

Those using the traditional Pahalgam route will have to trek 48 kilometres spread over four days to reach the cave shrine.

The ‘Charri Mubarak’ (Lord Shiva’s Holy Mace) will reach the cave shrine accompanied by its custodian, Swami Depinder Giri and Sadhus this morning.

This year’s Amarnath Yatra begins on June 30 and will end on August 11.

The Meteorological (MeT) department has forecast dry weather along both the Yatra routes on Thursday.

J&K LG holds meeting

Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday held a meeting with senior political leaders to discuss arrangements and management of the Amarnath Yatra.

The meeting was held at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar.

“The Lt. Governor observed that sacred pilgrimage strengthens our faith in the goodness of mankind and its successful conduct is responsibility of every citizen of Jammu and Kashmir,” a statement said.

“Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra is a reflection of our composite culture and people belonging to all the faiths are contributing to make it successful,” the Lt Governor said.

All the senior leaders in the meeting speaking in one voice observed that Amarnath Yatra is like a big festival, a celebration of Kashmiriyat for common man of Jammu and Kashmir, and each and every citizen of the union territory will ensure warm hospitality and comfort of the pilgrims.

The senior leaders appealed to the people for their continuous support and assistance in the conduct of the Yatra, which is pride of Jammu Kashmir and reflection of unity in diversity.

The senior leaders also observed that Yatra is a vital part of Jammu and Kashmir’s economy and livelihood source for a large number of local people.

The political leaders who participated in the meeting included Dr. Farooq Abdullah, M.Y. Tarigami, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, Muzzafar Shah, Altaf Bukhari, G.A. Mir, Ravinder Raina, Hakeem Mohd. Yaseen and GM Shaheen, the statement added.

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