Jammu, June 30 (ANI): The annual Amarnath Yatra began on Wednesday with the first batch of 557 pilgrims leaving for the Himalayan cave shrine of Amarnath from here.
Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Tourism Nowang Ringzin Jora flagged off the convoy of pilgrims, escorted Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.
The first batch of pilgrims, including 261 men, 230 women, and 66 sadhus, left in 27 buses.
"Nearly 500 pilgrims are leaving today. All arrangements have been made and there will be no inconvenience to pilgrims," Jora said.
"Adequate security measures are in place between IB (International Border) and city and Yatra route and where so ever some kind of strengthening would be required that will also be done," said DIG Jammu Farooq Khan.
The CRPF has deployed 50 companies comprising 6,250 men and officers while the Army has set up 97 area domination posts in and around the cave shrine in Lidder Valley, besides Pahalgam and along the route in Anantnag, Ramban and Udhampur Districts.
For the last few days, tension has prevailed in several districts of Jammu and Kashmir following clashes between security forces and civilians.
The Amarnath cave shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the main shrine is claimed to be over 5,000-years-old. By Tahir Nadeem Khan (ANI)