Amarnath yatra: On-the-spot registration of pilgrims begins in Jammu

The administration on Thursday began the process for on-the-spot registration of devotees arriving here for the pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.
Amarnath yatra
Amarnath yatra

Jammu | The administration on Thursday began the process for on-the-spot registration of devotees arriving here for the pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.

Amid tight security arrangements, 1600 pilgrims have arrived at the Bhagwati-Nagar base camp here for their onward journey to Kashmir, officials said. Rush to throng basecamp is going on, they said.

Over 800 Sadhus, including women, have arrived at the traditional Ram Mandir and Geeta Bhawan and are upbeat to pay their obeisance at the 3,880-metre high holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, housing the naturally formed ice-Shivling.

The 52-day pilgrimage will commence from the twin tracks --the traditional 48 km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag and the 14 km shorter but steep Baltal route in Ganderbal -- on June 29. The first batch of pilgrims will leave Jammu's Bhagwati Nagar base camp and Ram Mandir for the valley on Friday.

While an on-the-spot registration centre has been set up for unregistered pilgrims in the Shalimar area of the city, a special camp for registration of sadhus has been set up at Purani Mandi-based Ram temple complex, officials said.

"On-the-spot registration has been started today for the unregistered pilgrims coming from different parts of the country", Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) and In Charge of Mahajan Hall registration centre, Seema Parihar told PTI.

She said a quota has been fixed for the registration centres in Jammu and so far her centre has registered 358 unregistered pilgrims for the journey out of a total quota of 600 for the day.

She said all facilities for smooth registration have been put in place Amid chants of 'Bam Bam Bhole and Jai Jai Baba Barfani', the Sadhus and Sadhvis are eagerly waiting for the yatra to commence.

"The registration of sadhus has begun in Jammu today. All arrangements have been put in place for the best possible facilities for the sadhus", another officer said.

As many as 170 sadhus and Sadivis have been registered for the yatra, for their onward journey to Kashmir tomorrow. The enthusiasm among pilgrims and Sadhus arriving here for the pilgrimage was palpable.

On his 7th pilgrimage to the cave shrine, 52-year-old Nirotum Kumar of Uttar Pradesh said "Every year I undertake pilgrims to save the shrine on the first batch. It is my vow to travel in the first batch".

He said that he had registered for Yatra and got the token. "I am happy to get a token for my trip to the abode of Bholenath. I am very happy", he added.

Sunita Devi of Ajmer, who is on her pilgrimage to Amarnath for the fourth time, said that the registration process has improved from manual to online.

"Every year there is improvement in yatra arrangements. This has done away with the process of sitting in long queues in hot weather conditions", she said.

Some sadhus who have arrived here after completing the Char Dham Yatra to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines in Uttarakhand, said that this is an annual feature to undertake yatra in a phased manner and concludes after darshan of Ice-lingum of Lord Shiva at Amarnath.

The shrine houses the naturally formed ice-shiva lingam and over 4.5 lakh pilgrims paid their obeisance at the 3,880 meter high shrine last year.

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