In Photos: Annual Amarnath Yatra Begins Amidst Terror Threats
Religious fervour marked the beginning of the annual Amarnath yatra in the wee hours of Tuesday, as the first batch of 2,280 pilgrims, comprising 422 women, left the Nunwani base camp in Pahalgam amid tight security.
The base camp reverberated with chants of ‘Bham Bham Bhole’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’ with pilgrims from different parts of the country converging there for their onward journey towards the holy cave shrine of Lord Shiva situated at a height of 12,756 ft and perform ‘darshan’ of the ‘ice lingam’.
The Amarnath pilgrims undertake yatra via the traditional and arduous 46-km-long trek of Pahalgam in south Kashmir.
Braving inclement weather, over 6,000 pilgrims paid obeisance at the cave shrine of Amarnath on Thursday while the second batch of 2,481 pilgrims left from Jammu for the twin base-camps of the yatra, amid tight security.
The pilgrims are being escorted by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) vehicles. The government has mobilised a heavy security blanket of over 35,000 to 40,000 personnel including of the police, the Army, the BSF and the CRPF.
Intermittent rains lashed wide parts of Kashmir including the yatra route since Wednesday, resulting in considerable drop in day and night temperatures.
The annual yatra began amid a terror threat which prompted the authorities to mobilise the "highest level" of security measures including satellite tracking system.
Special Director General of the CRPF, S N Shrivastava had said on Tuesday,
The security threat failed to deter the spirit of pilgrims who continued to tread with immense devotion.
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