Srinagar, Nov 7: In a significant milestone for the annual Amarnath Yatra, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) has completed the widening of the pilgrimage route leading to the sacred Amarnath Cave via the Baltal base camp in Ganderbal.
This achievement represents a historic moment in the efforts to enhance the pilgrimage experience for thousands of devotees who visit the holy cave shrine each year.
The Amarnath Cave, situated at an altitude of approximately 3,888 meters above sea level, has long been a revered destination for devotees. Pilgrims embark on this spiritual journey simultaneously from two routes: Pahalgam in the Anantnag district and Baltal in the Ganderbal. While Pahalgam is known for its scenic beauty, the Baltal route is preferred by younger pilgrims, although it is more challenging due to steep terrain and narrow roads.
An official of the BRO said they took a truck and small pickup vehicle from Dumail (in Ganderbal district) to the Amarnath Cave via Baltal base camp, which is one of the two routes to reach the cave. The process was completed last week.
The BRO also shared a video on its Twitter account which read, “#AmarnathYatra BRO India Project Beacon is involved in restoration and improvement of Amarnath Yatra tracks. Border Roads personnel completed the formidable task and created history with the first set of vehicles reaching the holy cave. Jai Hind! Jai BRO!!”
The Amarnath Yatra holds immense religious significance for Hindus, with more than 4.5 lakh pilgrims participating in this year’s pilgrimage. Traditionally, yatris had to trek through challenging terrains on foot, making the journey physically demanding and time-consuming. However, with the completion of the road widening project, the pilgrimage experience is expected to become more accessible and convenient, said an official at BRO.
The project, known as “Project Beacon,” is part of the Border Roads Organization’s commitment to restore and improve the Amarnath Yatra tracks. Over the past two years, the BRO has dedicated its resources and manpower to ensure a smoother and safer journey for pilgrims.
Completing the road widening project represents a significant change for the Amarnath Yatra, as pilgrims will soon be able to access the holy cave through a vehicular road. This development is expected to make the pilgrimage more comfortable and accessible, particularly for the elderly and those who previously had to rely on ponies or palanquins for the journey.
In September last year, the maintenance and upgradation of the Amarnath Yatra tracks were entrusted to the BRO. Their expertise in working on challenging terrains, including those along the Sino-Indian border in Eastern Ladakh, has proven invaluable in this endeavor. Despite adverse weather conditions, including extreme cold and sub-zero temperatures, the BRO’s dedication and resilience have expedited the project’s completion.
The Border Roads Organization’s achievement in widening and improving the pilgrimage route is not only a testament to their hard work but also reflects the Indian government’s commitment to enhancing the spiritual journey of those who seek solace at the Amarnath Cave.
The annual two-month Amarnath Yatra, supported by paramilitary forces and police to ensure safety, will undoubtedly benefit from these efforts, making the pilgrimage to the holy cave more accessible and secure. This historic accomplishment promises to change the way devotees experience the Amarnath Yatra, offering a more comfortable and convenient journey to the sacred cave shrine.