The first batch of devotees left for the Kashmir Valley from Jammu on Sunday, June 30, to begin the Amarnath Yatra this year. The pilgrimage, which spans for 45 days, will officially commence from Monday and conclude on August 15.
"The first batch of pilgrims include 1,051 bound for the north Kashmir Baltal base camp and 1,183 to the Pahalgam base camp. The pilgrims comprised 1,839 males, 333 females, 45 sadhus and 17 children," IANS quoted police sources as saying.
"The pilgrims left in security escorted convoys. No opposite movement of traffic will be allowed on the Jammu-Srinagar highway till 3 pm today (Sunday) in order to ensure that the pilgrims cross the Jawahar Tunnel without any delay," the police added.
Notable security arrangements have been made to ensure a smooth and violence-free Amarnath Yatra this year. The arrangements were reviewed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his visit to Kashmir last week.
Situated at 3,888 metres above sea-level, the Amarnath shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that symbolises the mythical powers of Lord Shiva, according to the devotees.