POONCH/JAMMU, Aug 18: While first batch of nearly 2000 pilgrims today performed Darshan at Shri Budha Amarnath Ji shrine at Mandi in district Poonch, the second batch of nearly 2850 pilgrims in 47 vehicles arrived Poonch city this evening.
The majority Muslim community of Mandi town accorded grand reception to the pilgrims arriving from various parts of the country today and garlanded many of them. They also offered eatables and drinks to the first batch of Shri Budha Amarnath Ji pilgrims.
After covering a distance of nearly 22 kms from Poonch this morning, the first batch of pilgrims arrived Mandi at around 10 am. After performing darshan and offering prayers, the pilgrims left for Jammu.
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The second batch of nearly 2850 pilgrims in forty seven vehicles from various parts of the country arrived Poonch town this evening. From Jammu base camp nearly 1500 pilgrims started journey while others joined them on the way. Most of the pilgrims were from Harayana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Utter Pardesh.
Some more vehicles joined them on the way. They were accorded warm welcome at Sunderbani, Nowshera and Rajouri and finally at Poonch base camp. They were served break fast at Sunderbani, lunch at Rajouri and evening tea by an Army unit at Bhimber Gali (Pass).
District Administration Poonch besides districts heads of VHP, Bajrang Dal, Sanatan Dharam Sabha Poonch and Dashnami Akhara Mandir Committee members and other prominent persons from Poonch received the pilgrims. They garlanded the pilgrims and served them drinks, tea and snacks etc.
The pilgrims were accommodated in Akhara Mandir complex, ITI building and in local Govt Higher Secondary schools for night stay.
Tomorrow morning, the second batch of pilgrims will leave for Shri Budha Amarnath Ji shrine at Mandi from Poonch. After performing `Darshan’ and offering special prayers, the pilgrims will leave for Jammu. The District Administration has made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of this annual yatra.