The annual Amarnath Yatra officially got underway as the first batch of pilgrims were flagged off from the twin base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
Undeterred by initial reports of a suspected terror threat and even inclement weather conditions, enthusiastic pilgrims started the journey, major portions of which include steep climbs and areas with dearth of oxygen.
I’m feeling really happy that many enthusiastic pilgrims are taking the journey. I didn’t expect such level of security. The situation here is very good. BSF, CRPF, and the J&K police are helping us. The locals have welcomed us as their own guestsPilgrim
This year, the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani coincides with the yatra. Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the pilgrimage to be conducted safely.
All necessary arrangements were put in place well in advance. Safety and security of yatris is a huge assignment for us. Elaborate security grid is in place and we are ensuring that the pilgrimage is conducted safely. Request cooperation from the yatrisDr Syed Abid Rasheed, DC, Anantnag
Medical aid centres, washrooms, and ‘langars’ have been set up throughout the length of the course. Ganderbal SSP Fayaz Lone said that security forces were sent up to the site 15 days in advance, for them to get acclimatised to weather conditions.
Video Editor: Vivek Gupta