Over 9,000 pilgrims set off from Kashmir to begin Amarnath Yatra, Rajnath Singh pays obeisance at shrine

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today participated in the traditional Puja and `Darshan` at the Amarnath Cave Shrine.

Over 9,000 pilgrims set off from Kashmir to begin Amarnath Yatra, Rajnath Singh pays obeisance at shrine

New Delhi: Amid tight security, the 48-day long annual Amarnath yatra began on Saturday and will continue till August 18 through the two routes of Baltal and Pahalgam.

Over 9,000 pilgrims set off from base camps in Ganderbal and Anantnag districts of Jammu and Kashmir to begin this year`s Amarnath Yatra.

"Out of 7,500 pilgrims gathered at the Baltal base camp (Ganderbal), 4000 had crossed the Dumail gate to start the 14-kilometre long trek to the Cave Shrine early today," said a senior police officer here.

By 10 am, the remaining 3,500 pilgrims crossed the gate towards the Cave Shrine.

From Nunwan base camp (in Pahalgam in Anantnag), 1,600 yatris had crossed Chandanwari towards the Cave Shrine in the morning, the police officer said.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today participated in the traditional Puja and `Darshan` at the Amarnath Cave Shrine.

Rajnath Singh this morning flew in a helicopter to the Himalayan cave shrine of Amarnath in Anantnag district of South Kashmir.

He was accompanied by Governor NN Vohra who is also the chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) that manages the affairs of the annual yatra which started this year on Saturday.

Rajnath Singh and Vohra participated in the special Puja inside the shrine to herald the beginning of this year`s 48-day long yatra. Both of them prayed for peace and development in the country.

It is believed that the Shiva Linga grows and shrinks with the phases of the moon reaching its height during the summer festival.

Meanwhile, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has advised the pilgrims to carry sufficient woollen clothes, umbrella, raincoat, and waterproof shoes as the weather in the Yatra area is unpredictable.


It has also advised the pilgrims to carry their identity cards and Yatra permit, and travel in a group.

Prepaid SIM cards from other states would not work in Jammu and Kashmir and the Yatra route. Yatris can purchase pre-activated SIM cards at the base camps of Baltal and Nunwan, the SASB said.

Also, the SASB has asked the pilgrims to not do “anything during the entire Yatra which could cause pollution or disturb the environment”.

(With Agency inputs)

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