Amid tight security arrangements over 10,000 pilgrims on Sunday embarked on Machail-Padder yatra from its base camp in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
After prayers at Wassar Lachkhazana in Kishtwar, the pilgrims started their yatra to high altitude Machail shrine in Himalayas. They are also carrying the mace of goddess Mata Chandi.
The yatra will cover 175 kms of hilly track to reach the shrine of goddess Chandi Machail Padder on August 23.
After performing rites and seeking blessings of the goddess, the yatra will start its return journey from Machail on August 24, officials said.
The district administrations of Doda and Kishtwar have made arrangements of security, medicare, transportation and other amenities during the yatra, an official said.
According to sources, the number of pilgrims expected to visit the shrine will touch two lakhs.