SRINAGAR, INDIA, June 29, 2024 (Kashmir Observer): More than 13,000 pilgrims visited the holy cave shrine of Amarnath on Saturday, the first day of the annual pilgrimage in the south Kashmir Himalayas that is being conducted amid tight security. The first batch of pilgrims had left the twin base camps in Baltal and Nunwan to start their journey to the cave shrine located at an altitude of 12,730 feet.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that the government is committed to ensuring a safe, smooth and pleasant pilgrimage to the cave shrine. “Shri Amarnath Yatra is an eternal symbol of the traditionalism and continuity of Indian culture. This divine Yatra is starting today. I wish all the devotees good luck for the darshan,” Shah wrote on ‘X’ in Hindi. The Yatra started early in the morning from the twin tracks — the traditional 30 mile Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag and the 8.7 mile shorter but steeper Baltal route in Ganderbal. “As many as 13,736 pilgrims visited the cave shrine to have darshan of the naturally formed ice Lingam on the first day,” an official said. The 52-day pilgrimage will conclude on August 19.

More at source.