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Amarnath yatra: Faith and devotion ascend as 14000 perform darshan on Day 1

The atmosphere buzzed with excitement and spiritual energy as the pilgrims, clad in warm attire and carrying backpacks, embarked on the trek.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 12:06 IST

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Pahalgam: Around 14,000 pilgrims, filled with devotion and anticipation, visited the sacred Amarnath Cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas on the first day of the yatra on Saturday. Thousands more are on their way, determined to perform the holy pilgrimage.

The atmosphere buzzed with excitement and spiritual energy as the pilgrims, clad in warm attire and carrying backpacks, embarked on the trek. From elderly devotees leaning on walking sticks to women, the diverse group symbolized unity in faith. Many chanted hymns and prayers, their voices resonating through the valleys and mingling with the sounds of nature.

Despite the arduous route, the pilgrims' unwavering devotion shone through. They crossed icy streams, climbed steep paths, and navigated rocky terrains. Volunteers and local authorities have set up refreshment stalls, medical camps, and rest points along the way to ensure the safety and well-being of the travelers.

Helicopters occasionally hovered above, monitoring the progress and providing aerial support when needed. As the day progressed, the initial batch of about 13,827 pilgrims reached the holy cave, where the natural ice lingam awaited their reverence.

Eyewitnesses reported that the sight of the sacred ice formation, believed to represent Lord Shiva, moved many pilgrims to tears. Each pilgrim performed darshan, offering prayers and receiving blessings, before making way for others.

Thousands more pilgrims are on their way, determined to perform darshan in the coming days. Campsites along the route are bustling with activity as new groups arrive, rest, and prepare to continue their journey.

The first day of the yatra ended with the sun setting behind the majestic peaks, casting a golden glow over the landscape. The atmosphere was serene, filled with a sense of accomplishment and spiritual fulfillment. For those who had completed their pilgrimage, it was a time of reflection and gratitude. For the thousands still on their way, it was a night of rest before continuing their sacred trek.

The Amarnath Yatra, more than a journey, stood as a profound expression of faith and resilience. As the days unfold, the influx of pilgrims will continue, each step taken in devotion, each prayer uttered in hope, weaving a tapestry of unity and spirituality against the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas.

Officials reported that around 3.5 lakh pilgrims have registered so far for the annual Amarnath Yatra. The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system, introduced a few years ago, is in place to track pilgrims' movements en route to ensure their well-being.

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Published 30 June 2024, 12:06 IST

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