The first batch of 1,091 pilgrims left from here early on Wednesday for Kashmir to start the Amarnath Yatra which begins from Thursday.
Senior National Conference leader and MLA Nagrota Davinder Singh Rana, who along with other party leaders, flagged off the first batch from Jammu said that all people in Jammu and Kashmir were standing to welcome the yatris.
""I welcome all the pilgrims on behalf of our party and the leadership. I want to assure the pilgrims that every individual in Jammu and Kashmir is standing to welcome them. They (yatris) are our guests and everyone is welcoming them with love and sincerity," he said.
"A total of 1,091 yatris (pilgrims) left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy of 52 vehicles. This included 780 males, 190 females, one child and 120 Sadhus," police said.
With additional 213 companies of paramilitary forces augmenting the strength of the existing security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, nearly one hundred thousand security personnel have been deployed to guard this year's Yatra.
The 60-day Yatra will end on August 26, coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.