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Amarnath yatra begins; security tightened as terror looms large
First time, a direct helicopter service has started from Srinagar to the holy cave this year. The service was flagged off from Humhama helipad near Srinagar airport to the shrine on Thursday morning. By road, the first batches of pilgrims were flagged off from the base camps of the two routes at Pahalgam and Baltal in the morning. CCTV cameras are installed all along the routes and the RFID system has been introduced for additional security.

JAMMU, June 30: After a gap of two years due to covid pandemic, the annual Amarnath yatra began on Thursday amid tight security arrangements as a batch of about 2,750 pilgrims left the Nunwan base camp in Pahalgam in Anantnag district for the cave shrine. The first batch of pilgrims on the Baltal route was also flagged off to the holy cave at 5 am. For the first time a direct helicopter service to Amarnath holy cave from Srinagar has also started.

The idol at Amarnath temple in the south Kashmir Himalayas is a naturally forming ice lingam 3,800 mts above the sea level.

Three lakh pilgrims have already registered through over 450 bank branches and SASB’S mobile app. Eight lakh yatris are expected to visit the cave during the season lasting till August 11 (43 days), Rakhsha Bandhan day. Security has been tightened in view of the concern over heightened terror activities. CCTV cameras are installed all along the routes. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system has been introduced for the yatris on the way. Seventy health care centres are set up along Pahalgam-Chandanwari and Baltal routes, besides a 70-bedded hospital each for the two routes. (See SASB website for details)

In the past one month, two terrorist attempts planning to target the pilgrimage were thwarted by the security forces resulting in the killing four terrorists. (SEE: Two terrorists killed in Kulgam near Amarnath pilgrimage route ) In the first case, two terrorists were killed in Kulgam, on Amarnath route, near Nawapora in Mir Bazaar on Wednesday. On June 14, the security forces had gunned down two Pakistani terrorists of the LeT in Srinagar who were suspected to be planning to attack the Amarnath pilgrims. Three Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) terrorists were killed near Pahalgam on the Amarnath route on May 6.

First time, direct helicopter service has been made available for AmarnathJi yatris this year from Srinagar (from near the Srinagar airport) to holy cave in Anantnag district. The service was flagged off from helipad Humhama to holy cave on Thursday by Deputy Commissioner (DC) Budgam, Shahbaz Ahmed Mirza. The holy yatra can be made in a single day. The tickets are available online.

Commissioner Secretary, Revenue, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri flagged off the first batch of pilgrims from Domel-Baltal to holy cave at 5 am on Thursday. The first batch had 6,823 pilgrims, consisting of 5,384 men, 1,293 women, 48 children and 98 sadhus.

The yatra was also flagged off from Nunwan base camp in Pahalgam in Anantnag district. The yatris on this route will be taken from Pahalgam to Chandanwari in vehicles from where the yatra on foot will commence. From Chandanwari, ghoda and other services are available.

ONLINE DARSHAN: ‘Darshan’ of the shrine can be had through live telecast of morning and evening aarti at Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board's website link or through Shrine Board’s Android-based Application which may be downloaded through the link.

HELPLINE No. 14464; Toll Free Numbers:- Jammu: 18001807198; Srinagar: 18001807199

SEE for Route details:

SEE for Transportation details:

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