Amid tight security, second batch of 5,700 pilgrims leave for Amarnath from Jammu

Pilgrims on the way to Amarnath cave shrine, near Chandanwari base camp, at Pahalgam in Anantnag district on June 30, 2022.

Pilgrims on the way to Amarnath cave shrine, near Chandanwari base camp, at Pahalgam in Anantnag district on June 30, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Second batch of 5,700 pilgrims left from Jammu in a secured convoy to perform pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath in south of Himalayas amid tight security arrangements.

Chanting ‘Bam Bam Bhole’, the pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in a cavalcade of 230 vehicles early on Thursday morning.

The 43-day pilgrimage to the cave shrine will conclude on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

With the 2nd batch, the total number of pilgrims, who have left for the Amarnath cave shrine from Jammu goes up to 10,700, officials said.

Over 5,000 to 6,000 fresh pilgrims have arrived in Jammu from various places across the country for their onward journey to Amarnath, they said.

After on-the spot registration at three counters and supply of tokens at two counters, they have been lodged in 32 lodging centres and base camps in Jammu, they said.

Lt. Governor performs puja at Amarnath shrine

To mark the beginning of 43-day Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on June 30 performed the ‘puja’ of Baba Barfani and prayed for peace, happiness and prosperity of all.

“I have full faith that the devotees travelling from all over the country to seek the divine blessings of Shri Amarnathji will have a safe and memorable pilgrimage,” Mr. Sinha said.

Expecting a heavy footfall of pilgrims, the government and Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) have made extensive arrangements for the Yatra this year.

The devotees can have ‘Darshan’ of the Holy Ice Lingam at the Cave Shrine through live telecast of morning and evening Arti through Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board’s website.

Besides the Board members of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, Nitishwar Kumar, CEO SASB, and Lt. General Amardeep Singh Aujla, GOC 15 Corps also participated in the ‘puja’.

2,750 pilgrims leave Nunwan base camp

Earlier in the day, a batch of about 2,750 pilgrims left the base camp in Nunwan for the cave shrine housing the naturally formed ice-lingam in the south Kashmir Himalayas.

The pilgrimage was flagged off by Deputy Commissioner Piyush Singla at the Nunwan base camp in the Anantnag district’s Pahalgam.

The journey — most of it on foot — takes about three days with night halts at Sheeshnag and Panchtarni along the route.

All arrangements have been made to ensure smooth conduct of the 43-day pilgrimage, Singla said, adding, “The endeavour is to make sure that the pilgrims feel secure and visit the shrine peacefully.” Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday flagged off the first batch of 4,890 pilgrims from the Jammu base camp.

Yatra organised after two years

The annual Amarnath Yatra is being organised after a gap of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shrine is situated 3,888 metres above the sea level in Himalayas in Kashmir. It houses an ice stalagmite structure called the ‘Lingam’ that wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon. Devotees believe the ‘Lingam’ symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

The Yatra commenced on June 30 from the traditional 48-km Nunwan route in south Kashmir’s Pahalgam and the 14-km Baltal route in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal.

Over 3.42 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the shrine from July 1 to August 1, 2019, before the government cancelled the pilgrimage midway ahead of the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 4:14:17 pm |