Amarnath Yatra By Helicopter

Amarnath, the sacred Hindu place got its name from Hindi words ‘Amar’ that stands for eternal and ‘Nath’ that stands for deity. Amarnath is the snowy peak of the imposing Himalayas is quite popular for the consecrated cave of the demolisher God Shiva who lives there with his companion Parvati and son Ganesha. Amarnath is considered as one of the most respected and holy site for Hindus in the entire subcontinent.

The Amarnath temple is situated at an altitude of 12756 ft and located in Jammu & Kashmir. The famed pilgrimage centre is visited by 4 lakh devotees every year. According to Hindu mythology, Amarnath cave was the place where Hindu God Shiva explicated the secret of life and imperishability to hid divine consort Parvati. The cave features a “Shiva Linga” that accomplishes its utmost height on full moon day of July-August and wanes along with moon. The Amarnath Cave is famous for ice lingams or ice pillars and visited by thousands of devotees during the month of July-August.

Description of Cave

Amarnath cave is quite huge and nestled in a glacial valley at 4,175 m (13,700 ft). Amarnath cave is approximately 90 feet long and 150 feet in height. Inside the cave there are four or five ice creations that bear resemblance to various gods. The biggest formation is regarded as Shiva (Amarnath). Apart from the Shiva lingam there are two more ice formation of Lord Ganesha and goddess Parvati.

Route Leading To Amarnath Yatra

There are two main routes that can be followed in order to reach to sanctified cave. The first route starts from Pahalgam and covers up a distance of 47 kms. Pahalgam – Nunwan – Chandwari – Pissu Top – Sheshnag – Panchtarni – Amarnath cave. Another route to reach cave starts from Baltal and covers the total distance of approximately 15 kms. The route to be trailed is Baital-Domail-Sangam-Holy cave. Along with these, helicopter services are also available to get around Amarnath cave.

Significance and History of Amarnath Yatra

According to Hindu mythology, Amarnath Cave was the place that was selected by Bhole Shankar for describing the secrets of immortality and formation of Universe to goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva chosen Amarnath cave so that no one can hear the story, then he entered in cave and took Samadhi of deerskin. Lord Shiva was narrating the story to his companion Parvati, but could not see an egg that is missed under the deerskin and from that egg a pair of pigeons came up and became Amar (immortals) and these pigeons can be seen by devotees even now.

Who Discovered the Holy Cave?

The sanctified cave was first noticed by the Gujjar Buta Malik. It is said that one day Buta Malik was meandering around the place and a pietist gave him a bag of coal and when he reached home those coal pieces converted into gold coins. He went back to say thanks, but could not see the holy person, but what he sees there is the consecrated ice dropping from the mouth of cave. After this incident, that place became popular as the sanctified temple of Lord Shiva.

The Sanctified Yatra

Amarnath Yatra is full of adventure, thrill and joy. One can feel the heavenly presence of divine deities here and is said that prayer before Shiva linga washes of every sins of the devotee. Bordered by beautiful hills, soaring mountains, you can revive nature and its love that stays inside you, but you never sense it.

The trek to Amarnath starts at Srinagar on the Panchami Day of bright half of the moon. The next stop on the Yatra is Pampur that is 9 miles south-east of Srinagar. Following halts are at Martand, Brijbihara and Avantipur. Martand is popular as architectural lion of Kashmir and antique temples devoted to Sun God. On the journey to Martand are Anant Nag and Gautam Nag. The next stop is at Aishmukam, and after this Pahalgam. At Pahalgam is the union of rivers Liddar and Seshnag.

The next stop enroute is Chandanwali that is the confluence of rivers Seshnag and Asthan Marg. Next to this is Pishu Ghati, according to Hindu mythology, it is said that that is the place where demons were crushed badly by gods. Further up is Seshnag Lake that is nestled at a height of approximately 12000 feet above sea level. The next halt for devotes is Wavjan before the vertical climb to the Mahagunus Pass at an altitude of 14000 feet, after which there is a downward slope leading to Panchatarni. From here, the followers are reached to holy Amarnath Cave on full moon day and it is the last stoppage of the pilgrimage journey.

Best time to take up Amarnath Yatra

Every year the Yatra is organized by Jammu and Kashmir govt. and prior registration in the months of July and August is vital to take up Yatra. The dates though vary every year due to changing weather conditions and according to Purnima. The climatic conditions are very unsure. Snowfall or rain may take place any moment during Yatra. The temperature may even drop down to five degree Celsius.

Accessibility to Amarnath

Air - The nearest airport from Amarnath is Srinagar Airport. Visitors can board regular flights that link Srinagar to Delhi and other cities.

Rail - Jammu is the nearby railway station from where travelers can drive down to holy place Amarnath.

Road - If you wish to visit Amarnath by road then you must reach Srinagar or Jammu. From there you can hire taxi and bus services that will easily drop you Amarnath.

Helicopters services are also available for reaching Amarnath Cave. Baltal is the pickup point that takes visitors to sacred cave for Darshan and pooja that almost takes 30 minutes and brings them back to Baltal. Helicopter land at Panjtarni is approximately 4 km from Amarnath and from here visitors can continue their journey via trekking or hiring palanquin or ponies.

List of Do’s and Don’ts for Yatris
  • In order to take up Yatra, one must be physically fit. So, a fitness certificate is needed at the time of registration by the visitors.
  • Weather conditions at Amarnath are uncertain. So, devotes must carry some woolen clothes, raincoats, umbrellas, eatables, waterproof bag etc.
  • One must carry his/her identity proof.
  • In case of any emergency, keep some painkillers or other medications in bag.
Fast Facts
  • Location - 145 km from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir
  • District - Anantnag
  • Popular as/for - Pilgrimage
  • Weather - Summer 5 to 40°C Winter -14 to 24°C
  • When to visit Amarnath - July to August is the best time to visit cave. The cave remains closed during rest of the year.
  • Yatra duration - 2 to 6 days

Amarnath, you can call it a heaven on earth where you can come across the awe-inspiring, spiritual and divine sight on the earth

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