First batch of pilgrims on Monday left base camps for the holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir under unprecedented security arrangements.
A yatra official told UNI that 1717 devotees in 62 vehicles, including 379 women and 48 children, one transgender and 15 sadhus left Bhagwati Naga, Jammu, base camp for Kashmir early Monday morning under heavy security chanting “ Bam Bam Bolay and Har Har Mahadev”.
He said though sky is cloudy, first batch of 1715 pilgrims, including 258 women left shortest Baltal base camp in central Kashmir district of Ganderbal for the holy cave Monday morning.
The pilgrims will reach the cave shrine after covering 14 km track on foot. Majority of the pilgrims are likely to return base camp in the afternoon.
He said 1127 worshippers, including 190 women, two children and two sadhus left traditional Nunwan Pahalgam base camp for Chandanwari, the first motor-able halting station. After night halt at Chandanwari, the pilgrims will start their onward journey for next halting station. Though weather is cloudy, he said the pilgrimage is going on smoothly.