Amarnath Yatra: Locals brace up to welcome pilgrims, peg tents at Baltal

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Raja Syed Rather

 Ahead of the Amarnath Yatra, the locals from various areas of this central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district have started installing tents at Baltal to facilitate the pilgrims.

As per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the annual yatra of Shri Amarnath Cave, located at the height of 3,8,80 metres in the Himalayan Mountains of south Kashmir, will begin on July 1 and end on August 31.

The locals are also reaching Baltal where they are installing their tents for yatris where other facilities are also provided to the pilgrims. The act also provides livelihood to the people of the district.

“We are eagerly waiting for the yatris and we work hard to provide them with all possible facilities,” said Ahmad, who has installed a tent at Baltal.

He said Amarnath Yatra is not only a symbol of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood, but this also helps locals here to earn a livelihood. “These include hotel owners, horse riders, taxi drivers, etc because the pilgrims do not limit this yatra only to the holy Amarnath Cave, but they also visit various health resorts,” he said.

Every year, thousands of tents are installed from the Baltal base camp to the holy cave, which creates a different kind of beauty in Baltal during the yatra time, said another local, adding, “We have to get permission from the local administration to install these tents.”

The locals said Amarnath Yatra has “connected the feelings and emotions” of the Kashmiri people who have been playing a key role in successfully holding the yatra for centuries.

They said the Jammu and Kashmir administration is taking every possible step to make the yatra successful. However, without the cooperation of the local people, it is not possible at all, they said

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