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Shri Amarnath Yatra

Fast Fact:
  • Altitude : 4175 m
  • Best Season : May - Oct
  • Weather : Summer 5 to 40°C Winter -14 to 24°C
  • Languages : Dogri, Kashmiri, Hindi
Amarnath Yatra at a Glance

Perched at an elevation of about 4,175 m above the sea level, Amarnath is considered one of the most venerated pilgrimage sites of India, which is sited at a remoteness of about 145 km from Srinagar. Amarnath enshrines a divine and natural Shivling, made up of ice, which is tucked away in the mighty Himalaya. Every year thousands of pilgrims explore the site to take a glance of this divine Shivling and feel blessed.

History of Amarnath :

The narration of Amarnath dates back to Aryaraja’s time periods that extends from 34 BCE to 17 CE. Aryaraja at that time, used to spend his summer at this very location by offering prayers to an ice lingam. During that time, this Shivling was situated in the area that was outside the woods.

Furthermore, the site also has been revealed by the Rajatarangini,in which it was mentioned as Amareshwara. Afterward, Sultan Zain'l-abidin travelled to Amarnath between the years of 1420 & 1470, and built a canal that at the present is famous as Shah Kol.

Mythological Belief Associated with Amarnath:

According to an ancient myth, once Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva regarding the secret of his immortality. He refused to reveal so many times; however, her regular emphasis led to disclose this clandestine to her. To recognize the worth of the secrecies behind the formation, they both hot through a secluded site in the Himalayas. Lord Shiva chose this isolated place to preserve the secrecy of creation from any type of existence or living creature on earth.

Shiva left his moon as well as bull Nandi at Chandanwari and Pahalgaon respectively on his way to the Himalayas. His son Lord Ganesha was left at Mahagunas Hill along with his snakes, which were left at Sheshnag. In fact, he at last left his five elements at Panchtarni and after that he accompanied Parvati in the interior of the cave.

Lord Shiva also put on fire to destroy any type of life there in the cave just to make sure that no living being heard the clandestine of immortality. Hereafter, he began narrating the top secret to deity Parvati.

But, two eggs of pigeon, which were concealed underneath Lord Shiva’s deerskin, remained unscratched by the flames. A pair of pigeons came out from these eggs, who attended the clandestine of immortality. Even at the present, pilgrims exploring the site can notice a pair of pigeons dwelling here. Additionally, the pilgrims consider that these pigeons took birth again and again as well as made this cavern their permanent abode.

Two Major Routs leading towards Amarnath Cave:

The first itinerary leading towards this holy cave begins from Pahalgam plus covers a remoteness of 47 kms. The route that a traveler needs to follow is:

Pahalgam > Nunwan-> Chandanwari (16 kms) -> Pissu Top (3 kms) -> Sheshnag (9kms) -> Panchtarni (13 kms) -> Amarnath Cave (6kms).

On the way towards Amarnath Cave, there are only a few locations or cities, where a traveler can find accommodation options. Those cities include Seshnag, Pahalgam, Panchtarni and in front of the sacred cavern as well. Pilgrims even can hire the pony (Rs 2,300), porters (Rs 1,100) and Palanquin (Rs 7,000) to and fro between the sacred cave and Chandanwari.

Batal is also another route from where the treck on this path begins, which covers a total distance of around 15 kms to the Amarnath Cave. The path to be followed is:

Baltal -> Domail -> Baragi -> Sangam -> Holy cave

Well, this trek can be covered in a day and features no accommodation options. Also consider that despite being shorter, this path is very steep and sharp and frequently prone to mud slide and landslide. Alternatively on the way from Baltal, travelers can hire Porters, Ponies and Palanquins also by paying required amount. Also take into account that at the Baltal base camp, the hand phones might not work however, you can take help of many telephone booths that are accessible there and feature satellites connectivity.

Other Major Attractions:

Chandanwari : from Pahalgam, it is 16 far and is the initial point of the renowned Amarnath Yatra. The highway leading from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is next to the Lidder Lake. Chandanwari, is a small pictorial valley, which is about 6,500” above sea level. The climb that tarvellers take to Pissu Top is sharp. This is the site where one can meet the other pilgrims, all approaching toward single destination. The mountain surrounding the highway appears quite beyond the azure, which forms an incredible view. During the preliminary climb, one is generally on the pony. Subsequently, the trail comes on reasonably level land and few slightly steep. The movement of people both ways makes the trek more dangerous. It is worthwhile for the trekkers to stroll over the inner track that leads towards the face of the mountain. Good footwear and shoes are required here. The military forces shielding the whole region lend you helping hand if you require any type of help. It is an enjoyment to drink from the icy cold waterfalls and springs along the route.

Sheshnag : It is located at a distance of 13 km from Chandanwari. It is about 11,330 feet above the ground. This trek goes through ancient topography and once travelers reach at a given height, they can view the Sheshnag Lake. The water from this lake surges into a sharp narrow valley where it flows down in streams to form a brook twisting through the basin in the distance. It is also the recognized name of the mountain containing the cave. The name Sheshnag derives from its 7peaks that look like the head of the legendary serpent, Sheshnag.

The campground fails to notice the deep azure waters of this lake as well as the glaciers across it. The visibility in the evening reduces to five feet as the fog comes in so thick. At this magnificent site, pilgrims get bedding, tents and food at sensible rates. The voluntary groups set up several free kitchens (langars) to provide hot & fresh food to pilgrims. To facilitate travelers with free medical services and other helps, army setup camps and medical camps are also found along the route.

Panchtarni : On next day, one needs to trek 12 km. The trek progressively gains elevation winding up beyond the Mahagunas Pass, which is 4,600 metres high. The path then goes down to the plain-lands of Panchtarni and the last camp takes you to the blessed cave. Like Sheshnag, here you can also find the facilities and langars. The army also provides special helicopter facilities that are meant only for the yatra. The distance way from Panchtarni to Amarnath is about 6 km in distance,however if you start it in early morning to get a place to the queue leading to the cave.

Ways to Get in Amarnath:

By Air : Srinagar is the nearby aerodrome. It is a striking valley featuring world’s famous sites to visit, such as Nagina Lake, Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens, Shankaracharya Temple and so on. There are every day flights to Srinagar from Jammu and Delhi. On some days of the week passengers can also pick up flights from Amritsar and Chandigarh.

By Rail : The nearest railhead is the Jammu, which is the winter Capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a picturesque city and is also famous as "CITY OF TEMPLES". You can see ancient temples like Mahadev Mandir, Raghunath Temple along with other shrines. All stations of India are well connected through it.

By Road : Jammu & Srinagar are also well connected by highways. For this journey one can also hire taxis and buses for whole journey.

The yatra is organized by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir each year in the month of July and August (Shravana).

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