Kashmir Indepth

Amid Heightened Security, Yatra Crosses Record Numbers; Pilgrims Hail Locals, Govt Forces

Srinagar, July 31 : More than 30 percent Amarnath Yatris have visited cave shrine this year amid tightened security measures by government forces including Army.

Prepare for the greatest experience after eating a nutritious breakfast. You will travel over some of the highest passes in the world on your adventure, and you will be greeted by ever-changing vistas of the desolate landscape. Stop at the café on Khardung-La Pass, the highest all-season motorable road in the world, and take in the scenery; you'll feel as though you're on top of the world. Upon leaving Khardung-la, the terrain changes to a white sand desert as you approach the Nubra Valley, which is home to the Nubra Sand Dunes. Visit the Diskit Monastery, the oldest and biggest monastery in Ladakh, which also contains a sizable Buddha statue, if time permits.

In first 30 days, more than 3.30 lakh Yatris visited the Holy Cave. news agency ground reporter found a well-oiled machinery taking care of the pilgrims from end to end. Along the route, the central security forces along with the J&K Police provide security to the camps, routes and ‘langars’ which have been serving to the needs of the ‘Yatris’. Telecom companies are providing local SIMs and cellular services. The mood seemed very energetic and full of religious fervour. Locals are participating with equal fervour to support the ‘Yatra’, providing many services like horse rides, ‘Palkis’, stalls, etc.

As the ‘Yatra’ has entered in the last fortnight, the government forces on their part have increased the domination activities and vigil.

At many places Army patrols can be seen on the hills surrounding the ‘Yatra’ route. Even today a lot of such activity astride both the ‘Yatra’ routes could be seen.

It gives a sense of security even to us who having served for long tenures in these places now as pilgrims, a Yatri said, adding for others it is even more reassuring. We pray that these determined efforts find good results till the ‘Yatra’ is finally over by the 15 of August.

Most of the pilgrims while talking about the arrangements expressed their satisfaction and hoped that the pilgrimage concludes with peace and harmony in the state. “Hospitality of Kashmiris has no match anywhere in the world and we express our gratitude to them for being great hosts”.

Local administration also deserves accolades for putting together all arrangements in magnificent manner, a Yatri Shubum Kumar from Gujarat said. (GNS)

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