Pahalgam: The annual two-month long Amarnath Yatra began on Monday amid tight security. The first batch of pilgrims set out from the Nunwan base camp in Pahalgam for the cave shrine in South Kashmir.
Security has been tightened for the yatra as lakhs of pilgrims are expected to make the journey over the next two months. "All the arrangements have been put in place for the commencement of the yatra from tomorrow," Chief Executive Officer of the SASB Naveen K Chaudhury said.
Chaudhury, who has been monitoring the preparations for the past two months, said the snow clearance on both traditional Pahalgam and Baltal routes has been completed.
In the previous years, the authorities would allow pilgrims to proceed towards the cave a fortnight ahead of the scheduled commencement of the yatra. However, this year no pilgrim has been allowed to do so in view of the inclement weather, which resulted in delayed snow clearance.
Langars (community kitchens) have been set up at both Baltal and Nunwan base camps and at all halting stations.
Stringent security arrangements have been made to ensure that the yatra is peaceful. New security measures have been introduced this year which includes installation of CCTV cameras and X-ray machines for checking the baggage of pilgrims and tourists visiting this south Kashmir resort.
(With additional information from PTI)