AMARNATH YATRA … Over 1.5 lakh pilgrims line up for Amarnath Yatra

NDTV Com

NEWS AMARNATH YATRA

SRINAGAR: The first batch of pilgrims to the sacred cave shrine at Amarnath in the sensitive Kashmir Valley was on their way to the holy destination on Monday. The Centre erected a massive protective ring, which included deployment of over 40,000 security personnel en route and around the shrine, to ensure safety of the pilgrims.
As high as 1.6 lakh pilgrims are expected for the 46-day-long Yatra. The first batch of pilgrims left Jammu on Sunday night. The pilgrims would formally start their journey from Pahlagam and the Baltal base camps here.
The Amarnath Yatra is to a hill some 3,800 metres above the sea level, set in the Himalayas, where devotees climb their way to a shrine that houses an ice stalagmite structure representing Lord Shiva.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had reviewed the security arrangements for the yatra when he visited here last week. Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik told media channel NDTV: “The security for the yatra is our responsibility and we are taking care of it. But police or Army do not conduct the yatra. For many years, the Amarnath Yatra is being conducted by people of Kashmir, especially our Muslim brothers. This yatra takes place with their support.”
The pilgrimage season ends on August 15, the Shravan Pournami Day. NDTV / IHN-NN

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