SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday morning flagged off the first batch of 717 pilgrims for the annual Amarnath Yatra from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in the Jammu city.
The pilgrims left in a convoy for the Valley escorted by security forces. Both north Kashmir Baltal and south Kashmir Pahalgam routes of the Yatra are being secured by hundreds of security forces drawn from the army, central armed police forces (CAPFs) and the local police.
For the first time, authorities have issued radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to each pilgrim so that his/her movement is monitored for safety and security purposes.
MeT department has forecast dry weather along both the Yatra routes on Wednesday.
Authorities have said around eight lakh pilgrims are expected to perform this year’s Yatra which is being held after three years. In 2019, the Yatra was cut short ahead of the abrogation of article 370 while it remained suspended in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid pandemic.
The 43-day pilgrimage to the cave shrine will begin from twin base camps in Kashmir on Thursday and will conclude on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.