Amid a three tier security arrangements for the pilgrims, the annual 59-day Amarnath yatra commenced on Thursday with 8401 pilgrims paying obeisance at Holy Cave on the first day of the yatra.
“The Yatra to the Holy Cave of Amarnathji, commenced today from both Baltal and the Pahalgam routes,” said an official spokesperson. ‘4169 Yatris left from Pahalgam route and 6782 from Baltal route for the Holy Cave.”
Officials said that adequate security arrangements have been made for the Amarnath pilgrimage.
A senior police official said that 98 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed for the Amarnath pilgrimage, besides 24 companies of Jammu&Kashmir Police. “The number of security personnel deployed this year is more as compared to the last year,” said an official, associated with the deployment of the security forces for the yatra.
The Amarnath yatra has two treks, the traditional Pahalgam route and the shortest Baltal trek. Most often, the pilgrims chose the Baltal, which is 14 km from the base camp. The other trek of Pahalgam, which passes via 14500 feet high Mahagunus Pass to the cave, is approximately 30 km from the base camp.