Nearly 400 kilometre long Hindu pilgrim march, called Amarnath Yatra, to a cave shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas began Monday amid massive security cover.
Hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims, many in saffron robes from all across India descend on strife torn Kashmir Valley for the yatra with a complete government backing and arrangements in place.
Governor Satya Pal Malik participated in the ‘Pratham Pooja’ (first prayer) inside the 3880-metre high cave shrine and prayed for peace in the state, they said.
“The yatra began this (Monday) morning from both the routes as the first batch of pilgrims made their way towards the holy cave from the respective base camps,” a spokesperson of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) told PTI.
The spokesperson said the yatra was flagged off at Pahalgam and Baltal base camps by the officials of the respective district administrations.
He said on the first day of the yatra, 8,403 pilgrims paid obeisance at the cave shrine.
Stringent security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of the annual pilgrimage.
“A robust security cover has been put in place for the yatra which includes satellite and chip-based tracking of vehicles and pilgrims. The deployment of forces is in various layers to ensure smooth conduct of the pilgrimage,” the officials said
Photos: Abid Bhat / KO
Yatris go through security checking- Photo: Abid Bhat