Jammu: Amid multi-tier security cover, the first batch of pilgrims for the annual Amarnath
Yatra will leave from Jammuâ€™s Bhagwati Nagar base camp on Wednesday.
Till now nearly 2 lakh pilgrims from across the country have registered themselves for the
Yatra to the cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas.
According to police sources, the first batch of 1,091 pilgrims left early on Wednesday for
Kashmir to start the Amarnath Yatra.
The pilgrims, including sadhus, have started arriving in Jammu from various parts of the
country. The first batch of yatris will leave for the twin base camps of Baltal and Pahalgam in
Kashmir, in a fleet of vehicles under tight security in the early hours tomorrow, officials said.
They will reach the base camps of Baltal in Ganderbal and Nunwan-Pahalgam in Anantnag
districts in Kashmir later in the day. The pilgrims would start their onward journey to the
3,880 metre high cave shrine by foot, the next day, marking the commencement of the
The Yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 26 coinciding with the â€˜Raksha Bandhanâ€™
festival. Inspector General of Police, Jammu, S D Singh Jamwal said, â€œAll arrangements are in place
to ensure smooth and peaceful pilgrimage, which is a symbol of brotherhood and communal
Security officials said 1.96 lakh pilgrims have so far registered themselves for the yatra, which will for
the first time see the use of radio frequency (RF) tags on Amarnath- bound vehicles and
CRPF motorcycle squads in action.
Security arrangements around the base camps, temples, railway stations, bus stands and other
crowded places here have been strengthened, the officials said. With additional 213
companies of paramilitary forces augmenting the strength of the existing security forces in
Jammu and Kashmir, nearly one hundred thousand security personnel have been deployed to
guard this year's Yatra. The 60-day Yatra will end on August 26, coinciding with the Shravan
This year, the government has decided to monitor each vehicle carrying Amarnath pilgrims
with radio frequency (RF) tag and to extend the validity of temporary prepaid mobile
connections taken by pilgrims from seven days to 10 days.