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First batch of pilgrims arrive at Amarnath Yatri Niwas Base Camp

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Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India] : A large number of pilgrims reached the Yatri Niwas Base Camp in Jammu on Thursday, ahead of the commencement of the annual Amarnath Yatra on July 1.

The first batch of pilgrims for the Yatra was seen in huge lines outside the base camp, and in high spirits. Tight security arrangements can be seen at the base camp. The 62-day yatra, which commences on July 1 and culminates on August 31, is an important pilgrimage for Hindus who visit the Amarnath Cave, believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva. It will start from the ancient paths of Nunwan in Pahalgam and Baltal in the Ganderbal district of Kashmir where pilgrims will set off on their solemn trek.

In preparation for the Yatra, various langar committees started their preparation on Wednesday, three days in advance, to cater to the pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir. The committees prepared sheds, cooking resources and other raw materials on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ushampur district. A total of 22 langars have been established this year at various points of the highway (NHW-44). Additionally, according to an official statement by the Jammu and Kashmir police, the Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh: Additional Chief Secretary, Raj Kumar Goyal; Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor, Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, on Wednesday, took an extensive tour of the twin routes of pilgrimage to Amarnath Yatra.

It also mentioned that the officials concentrated on full coordination among the forces & other stakeholders for the smooth conduct of the Yatra and they emphasized the identification of sensitive areas which may require an additional arrangement for the pilgrims.

The deployed officers were also directed to implement the devised plans on the ground for the security & safety of pilgrims and to work diligently to ensure the highest standards of professionalism while extending all required assistance and cooperation to the yatris, according to the official statement. Before the yatra starts, the Anantnag district (Jammu and Kashmir) administration has set up all facilities, including medical care, sanitation, and others, and staff members have been stationed at various locations, added officials.

Deputy Commissioner Anantnag Syeed Fakhrudin Hamid said that “This year as far as RIFD, or sanitization or logging all arrangements have been made and all departments are working for the Yatra and like last year all arrangements have been made. This yatra is also not only about spiritual harmony but also communal harmony, the officials said.

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