Baltal base camp wears festive look

With just a day left for Amarnath yatra to commence, Baltal base camp in the district is all set to welcome yatris this year.
Baltal base camp wears festive look
File Photo

With just a day left for Amarnath yatra to commence, Baltal base camp in the district is all set to welcome yatris this year. 

Baltal is wearing a festive look with locals busy in installing their kiosks and tents for yatris.

The two month long yatra will start from June 28.

The feeling among tent owners and shopkeepers gives a sense of how desperately they are eagerly waiting for yatris.

Many ponywallas and laborers have also reached Baltal, besides community kitchens have also been set up for yatris.

Apart from riding horses to reach holy cave, every year Kashmiri Muslims carry yatris on their shoulders is testimony of Kashmir's 'syncretic' culture.

The yatris trek along treacherous mountain tracks preferably through Baltal-considered as shortest route to reach holy cave which is located at an altitude of 12700ft.

The common sight at Baltal is of ponywallas who have arrived in thousands at the base camp to carry yatris to holy cave.

The arrival of ponywallas at Baltal is also proving windfall for blacksmiths, who are busy in making horse hooves.

"We will be busy for more than a month. The horses have to trek the difficult path so we are readying them arduous journey," said Javaid Ahmad, a ponywalla.

A blacksmith at Baltal Mehraj-ud-din said though there is great demand of fixing horse hooves, but they are constrained considering that they can only fix hooves of 10 horses per day.

"There is a great demand of fixing horse hooves, but we can fix hooves of 10 horses a day only," said Mehraj adding that they charge Rs 120-Rs 150 for a pair of hooves.

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