Amid tight security, the first batch of the Amarnath Yatra was flagged off from Jammu’s base camp in Bhagwant Nagar on Tuesday morning.
The Yatra was flagged off by BVR Subramanyam, Chief Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir and BB Vyas and Vijay Kumar, advisors to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Narinder Nath Vohra.
“Amarnath Yatra is a very significant annual event. With cooperation of public, all security agencies and development agencies, we have put a scheme in place and are trying our best to address concerns of the pilgrims. We will ensure smooth flow of traffic,” Vijay Kumar said.
The pilgrims from different parts of the country have come to the twin base camps of Baltal and Pahalgam in Kashmir, guarded by the security forces in a fleet of vehicles.
A total of 2,995 pilgrims — 2,334 men, 520 women, 21 children and 120 ‘sadhus’ — left for the base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam in Anantnag and Baltal in Ganderbal districts in 107 vehicles and four motorcycles, officials said.
They will reach the twin base camps later in the day and would start their onward journey to the 3,880 metre high cave shrine by foot on Thursday, marking the commencement of the pilgrimage.
While 1,904 pilgrims have opted for the traditional 36-km route from Pahalgam, 1,091 others are registered for the shortest 12-km route from Baltal.
More than two lakh pilgrims have registered for the annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath. The 40-day pilgrimage will conclude on August 26.