The 11-day Buddha Amarnath pilgrimage began on Saturday from Jammu to mountainous shrine of Lord Shiva in Poonch district, amid tight security. Escorted by the CRPF, a first batch of 1181 devotees, including 451 women and two children, left in a convoy of 31 vehicles for the shrine this morning, officials said.
The yatra was flagged off by Jammu Divisional Commissioner Dr Mandeep Bhandari, they said, adding the transit camp has been set up for the yatra near Dudha Dhari temple in Rajouri.
Meanwhile, 200 pilgrims, including 20 women, also left Jammu for Amarnath cave shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas on Saturday. With this 29th batch, a total of 68,499 pilgrims have left Jammu for Amarnath since the yatra began from here on June 28. Altogether, 2,51,326 pilgrims had offered prayers at the Holy Cave till date this year.