AMARNATH YATRA | Hundreds of pilgrims reach Sonamarg, Baltal base camps

With the annual Amarnath Yatra 2019 commencing Monday, hundreds of vehicles carrying pilgrims have reached at the base camps Sonamarg and Baltal in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

Using various modes of transport, the pilgrims from different parts of the country reached the base camps Sunday evening amid heightened security arrangements.

From the base camps, the pilgrims shall step on towards the cave shrine located at the height of 13,500 feet from the sea level.

A senior official said the first batch of pilgrims will start trekking up the 14-km-long treacherous mountain trail from Baltal early Monday to reach the cave shrine for Darshan.

Special prayers are being organised by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) to mark the beginning of this year’s Yatra at the holy cave Monday morning.

Sources said that Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik will also visit the cave shrine Monday morning to pay obeisance.

Officials said that adequate arrangements relating to health, sanitation and water supply services have been made to ensure smooth yatra.

Meanwhile, tight security arrangements have been put in place for incident-free yatra.

Official sources said that vehicles of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Jammu and Kashmir Police would escort the pilgrims’ convoys from Jammu to the two base camps.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Ganderbal, Khalil Ahmed Poswal told Greater Kashmir that the first batch of pilgrims has reached the base camp Baltal in Ganderbal district safely. “Adequate arrangements have been put in place along the Baltal route to ensure peaceful yatra,” he said.

“All security wings have been geared up to provide adequate security and other facilities to the yatris,” he added.