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June 25, 2012

First batch of pilgrims from Baltal depart for Amarnath Yatra

Baltal (Jammu and Kashmir): The first batch of pilgrims departed for the Amarnath Yatra in the early hours of Monday from the base camp here. Despite inclement weather and snow-covered tracks, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has put in place all the arrangements for the annual yatra. “Today is the first day of the pilgrimage, so millions of devotees have gathered here and they are very excited to go to the cave and seek Lord Shiva's blessings," Rajesh Sharma, pilgrim, said. Around 10,000 pilgrims reached Sonamarg camp on Sunday and stayed in the makeshift tents made by the SASB. The pilgrims were excited to start their pilgrimage. “We wait for the whole year for this occasion. The weather is not very conducive as it has been raining since morning. We only wish to seek the blessings of the Lord and it is this hope that is helping us to move ahead,” Indu Kaul, a devotee, said. Elaborate and extensive security arrangements have been made by the Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Pilgrims expressed their satisfaction with the security arrangements. “We are very happy that we are going in the first batch. All the devotees are moving with full devotion. I really hope they have a nice journey,” said Anup Kumar Deewan, a pilgrim. The Amarnath yatra takes place between July and August every year.

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