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How Indian Armed forces guard the Shri Amarnath Yatris in Jammu and Kashmir.

It is a known fact that the respect Indian Army, navy and air force gets throughout the world and India ofcourse but what are those traits and reasons that make the uniform earn the respect?

One is discipline ofcourse, but there are certainly more aspects to it.

Recently I visited to Shri Amarnath Ji with family and contacted a friend of mine who is posted there (name undisclosed) in Army and asked a breif about the Yatra and decided to go for it being confident of the armed forces.

What is Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra and its background

The holy cave of Lord Shiva is situated at a height of 3,888 meters in Jammu and Kashmir, and is considered one of the holiest shrines of Lord Shiva. The shivling is said to be formed due to the melting of ice from the roof of the cave to the floor.

It is said that Shiva left Mount Kailash along with Goddess Parvati and left his belongings at various places. For instance, Nandi, the Bull at Pahalgam, the Moon from hair at Chandanwari, and snakes on the banks of Lake Sheshnag. Lord Ganesha was left at Mahagunas Parvat also called Mahaganesh Mountain. The five elements of nature – Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Sky were left at Panchtarni. As he sacrificed his belongings, he performed the Tandava Dance. And later, enter the cave with Parvati to tell the secret of immortallity, he created fire to demolish all the life around him. But a pigeon under Lord Shiva remained and heard the secret of immortality, further, it is said that Sage Bhrigu (rishi) was the first to find the Amarnath cave.

The current situation

If you are coming from far best is to board flight till Srinagar and take taxi till Baltal (another route is from Pahalgam) and it takes around 3 to 3.5 hours from Srinagar Airport to Baltal base camp. On reaching you need to first do KYC (part of registration process) and other formalities (details can be checked on Shri Amarnath ji shrine board official website) after which you will be given an ID card which will be the Yatra card to be carried along, the facilities overall are very good and registration is smooth, you will find armed forces and local police on every corner of the route coordinating well with each other.

Next early morning should be the plan to start the Yatra from Baltal to Holy cave of Baba Barfani. You can take a horse to reach there or walk all along or take the chopper, also there is facility for the Palki, where four people carry you on their shoulder.

So the army, BSF, ITBP, SSB all are stationed there and serving in full capacity day and night and also keep check on the local service providers so they don't ill treat or overcharge anyone.

The armed forces take up the task of full security and smoothness of the journey. Right from the patrols and security checks they even do rescue operations. One night there were heavy rains and the trek was blocked due to landslides but the forces responded immediately and made sure the route gets open as soon as possible.

There are midnight patrols, morning patrols and water services, food services , medical services, security and surveillance being provided by the army. There are special infantry forces that are specially trained for covert operations and handle any terrorist attack on the yatris or any try of causing disruption to the Yatra.

Then the people who book the services of buses from Jammu to Baltal or Jammu to Pahalgam they are specially guarded by the CRPF and Army all through the route and the traffic is stopped to make way for the Amarnath Yatris so there is no disruptions or any coward attack on the Yatris.

From North - West - East and South, every corner of the route has a jawan to help the yatris.

Incase of any casualty the jawans make sure the help reaches immediately to them. In case there is any landslide the jawans respond quickly and clear the route for the yatris. They take care of any unwanted movement in the mountains to keep the yatris safe.

There are check posts on car/ bus routes as well as the trekking route and special infantries check for the armed or harmful material with anyone.

Overall the experience was smooth and it is better to go by horses if you go through Baltal, as the trek is quite difficult and specially for the old age people or take a chopper for which the booking needs to be done in advance.

Jai Shri Amarnath Ji.



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