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First batches of Amarnath Yatris flagged off from Baltal, Nunwan base camps

Special Aarti performed at cave shrine
06:27 AM Jun 30, 2024 IST | Irfan Raina
first batches of amarnath yatris flagged off from baltal  nunwan base camps
Photo: Mubashir Khan/ GK

Baltal, June 29: The annual Amarnath Yatra began on Saturday as the first batch of yatris left the twin base camps in Baltal and Nunwan to start their journey to the 12,700-foot cave shrine in south Kashmir.


Amid heightened security arrangements, the first batch of yatris were flagged off by the respective Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of Anantnag and Ganderbal in the presence of senior civil and Police officials. The yatris included men, women, Sadhus, old and young.


Special Aarti prayers were performed at the Amarnath Cave shrine, marking the beginning of the annual Amarnath Yatra.


The 52-day yatra commenced from the traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag district as well as the 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district.


Using various modes of transport, the yatris from different parts of the country started reaching the base camps Friday evening, ahead of the formal start of the yatra to the cave shrine on Saturday.


The yatris were happy to see locals extending full support and coordination to the conduct of yatra.


“We are excited to start our journey and feel blessed about it,” a yatri said.


All arrangements have been put in place by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) and the J&K administration to ensure a smooth yatra, officials said.

Of the two routes, the Baltal route in Ganderbal district is the shortest route to the cave shrine.

While those using the Baltal route return to the base camp after the ‘Darshan’ the same day, yatris taking the Pahalgam route return after a few days.

The mountain rescue teams have been deployed for quick evacuation in case of emergencies while telecom services are available on the entire route.

A 100-bedded state-of-the-art hospital has been built by ONGC in support of J&K health and medical education department for round-the-clock healthcare facilities for the yatris.

Adequate stocks of oxygen cylinders, additional teams of doctors, ambulances, and helicopters have also been kept on standby for the yatris.

J&K Police along with SDRF personnel also provide a helping hand to the yatris.