Amid heightened security, the first batch of Amarnath Yatris on Sunday departed from Jammu to the Kashmir Valley.
Reports said that puja was conducted at the Jammu base camp before Advisor to the Governor in Jammu and Kashmir, KK Sharma, flagged off the first batch of pilgrims.
“The Yatra was flagged off today, just like the previous years all arrangements have been made for the Yatra. On behalf of the government, we went to Pahalgam and Baltal yesterday, all arrangements for the well-being of the devotees have been made all through the route between Jammu and Srinagar,” Sharma told the media in Jammu.
Reports said that the first batch has 2,234 devotees (1,839 males, 333 females, 45 sadhus and 17 children). Out of the total pilgrims in the first batch, 1,051 will proceed to Baltal base camp and 1,183 to Pahalgam base camp.
“The pilgrims left in security escorted convoys. No opposite movement of traffic will be allowed on the Jammu-Srinagar highway till 3 pm today (Sunday) in order to ensure that the pilgrims cross the Jawahar Tunnel without any delay,” news agency IANS quoted police sources as saying.
The 45-day long Amarnath Yatra will begin from Monday and end on August 15 coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.