Amid religious chants, Amarnath Yatra to the Kashmir valley began on Thursday morning.
The first batch of Amarnath Yatris was flagged off from Yatri Niwas Bhawan in Jammu by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. Over 3000 pilgrims left for the Kashmir valley in the wee hours today. The 43-day pilgrimage has commenced from the two base camps, 48-km Nunwan in south Kashmir's Anantnag and 14-km shorter Baltal in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district.
Several political and religious leaders, including Jammu Mayor Chander Mohan Gupta, BJP leader Devender Rana and Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta, were present at the flagging off ceremony.
The pilgrimage has resumed after a gap of two years. The yatra could not be conducted due to Covid-19 pandemic in last two years. As per the guidelines issued by the Jammu and Kashmir government, pilgrims would be required to mandatorily produce their Aadhaar card.
Meanwhile, tight security arrangements have been made by the Jammu and Kashmir Police and administration amid terror threats. Security has been tightened at Jammu Srinagar National Highway in Udhampur district. The yatris are being escorted by bike squad commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Strict vigil is being maintained at the India-Pakistan international border and Line of Control.