SRINAGAR: The 62-day-long Yatra to the cave shrine of Amarnath commenced on Saturday with great fervour. Amid chants of Bam Bam Bhole and Har Har Mahadev, pilgrims embarked on their journey to the cave shrine, nestled at an elevation of 3880 meters among the mighty Himalayan peaks.

In the first batch, pilgrims were flagged off by senior officials of the Jammu and Kashmir administration at the Baltal Base Camp and the Nunwan base camp in Pahalgam. The arrangements made by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and the J&K administration were highly appreciated by the pilgrims.

Meanwhile, a second batch of over 4,400 pilgrims also left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp on Saturday, joining the pilgrimage to the 3,888-meter-high Amarnath cave shrine. The total number of pilgrims from the Jammu base camp has now reached 7,904.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed his happiness as he flagged off the first batch of pilgrims, wishing them a safe journey. A multi-tier security setup has been implemented at the base camp to ensure the safety and well-being of the pilgrims.

Accommodation centres have been set up across Jammu, and registration counters have been established for pilgrims undertaking the yatra. Over 3.5 lakh people have already registered online for the yatra, reflecting the enthusiasm and devotion of devotees.

The Amarnath Yatra is conducted on two routes, the traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route and the shorter but steeper 14-km Baltal route. While the pilgrimage takes several days from the Pahalgam base camp, those using the Baltal route return to the base camp after their Darshan the same day.

As the Amarnath Yatra unfolds, devotees carry their faith and prayers, seeking spiritual enlightenment in the divine surroundings of the South Kashmir Himalayas. The pilgrimage serves as a significant event for devotees, allowing them to connect with Lord Shiva and experience a sense of deep devotion.

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