Jammu: The annual pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Budha Amarnath in the border district of Poonch began on Friday with pilgrims paying obeisance at the cave shrine of Lord shiva in Pir Panchal ranges in Jammu and Kashmir.

"The annual Budha Amarnath yatra has commenced in Poonch district with pilgrims thronging the cave shrine on Friday", officials said.

From Jammu, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand flagged of a batch of 176 pilgrims in a cavalcade of 10 vehicles from Bagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu city.

The yatra which started on Friday in Poonch, would culminate on August 2, 2012, on the occasion of 'Raksha Bandhan'.

The 'Chhari Mubarak' would start on July 31 from Shree Dashami Akhara Mandir Poonch towards the himalayan shrine in Mandi Tehsil of Poonch district.

The yatra would culminate on August 2, 2012, on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

About 1.5 lakh pilgrims visited the holy shrine last year. Lauding efforts of Amarnathji Shrine Board and Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Tara Chand said the government along with the boards is committed to provide all required facilities to devotees.


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