Amarnath a cave temple of Lord Shiva and one the most important shrine for Hindu devotees. Every year lakhs of followers of Lord Shiva come to visit this sacred place by walking miles on foot, and this walk of faith known as “Amarnath Yatra.”
Amarnath said to be the place where Lord Shiva’s Linga (A symbol of Shiva) appears every year by the freezing of water droplets and growing into the “Shiva Linga.” There are 2 more formations that are found to be of Parvati (wife of Lord Shiva) and Ganesha (Son of Lord Shiva and Parvati.)
This enshrining place inherits all its faith and devotion from its history. Claimed to be about a 5000 years old, Amarnath has now rooted itself into one of the most devotional places of Hinduism. According to Hindu mythology, this place said to be one of the homes of Lord Shiva. This cave is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva used to explain the secrets of life & eternity to her wife Parvati so that no one else could listen to them. Also believed that the growing and decreasing of the Linga in sync with the waxing and waning of the moon.
- 1 Interesting story of the 2 pigeons found in Amarnath.
- 1.1 HOW TO GO FOR AMARNATH YATRA.
- 1.2 Routes for Amarnath Yatra.
- 1.3 AMARNATH YATRA TREK
- 1.4 Interesting facts about Amarnath Yatra.
- 1.5 Things to be taken care of before going on Amarnath Yatra
Interesting story of the 2 pigeons found in Amarnath.
Pilgrims going to Amarnath have claimed to see a pair of pigeons that suspicious as the pair seen since a very long time.
According to the historical story, believed that when Lord Shiva was explaining the secrets of the creation of universe and immortality to Parvati in the cave, and egg got hidden beneath the skin of the deer on which Lord Shiva was sitting. The pigeon inside the egg is believed to have heard the story and the pair born out of it got immortal. So, the pigeons that are found by the pilgrims are believed to be those 2 pigeons which are immortal since 5000 years.
Positioned in Jammu & Kashmir. Attaining an height of 3,888m / 12,756ft. and about 141 km east of the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar. With a height of about 130ft, the ice – stalagmite forms the structure of the symbol of Lord Shiva, by the freezing of water that sweeps down the mountain and grows vertically. The Linga formed by the ice is the reason of faith and trust of Hindu pilgrims going on Amarnath Yatra.
HOW TO GO FOR AMARNATH YATRA.
Amarnath yatra starts in the month of June (last week) and ends in the last week of August.
This year(2019): 28th June to 26th August
Get your registration done: You need to be registered with all your details before going to Amarnath Yatra.
Link to the application form
Link of the “Compulsory Certificate for Sri Amarnath Yatra 2018” –
- The List of Authorised Institutions / Doctors for issuing Compulsory Health Certificates (CHC) for Shri Amarnath Yatra is constantly updated and made available online here –
- For other details and help you can refer to this official site of Amarnath Yatra –
Routes for Amarnath Yatra.
By road –
- Amarnath is a place which is not well connected by roads.
- One has to trek towards his/her destination.
- Before starting the trekking towards the religious Shiva Linga, pilgrims have to reach either Jammu or Srinagar by their respective roads.
- Further, the devotees have to head towards Baltal or Pahalgam, as per their convenience.
- From Pahalgam or Baltal, you start trekking towards the cave of Amarnath.
By Train –
- By train is just another means of going by road.
- Traveling to Jammu or Udhampur (Most beautiful railway station in India.) Amarnath has left 178km away from Jammu.
- The route from Jammu or Udhampur continues to Pahalgam and Baltal both by road, from where you’ll be heading your trek towards Amarnath.
By Flight –
- The nearest airport to the starting point of Amarnath is Srinagar which is about a distance of 70kms from Pahalgam.
- Thus continuing towards the destination via trek.
AMARNATH YATRA TREK
The religious Yatra to Amarnath of 45 days begins in the late June and ends in late August. There are 2 trekking routes to reach Amarnath.
Pahalgam: The Traditional Route –
- The journey has to begin from Pahalgam, that can either be reached by Srinagar (91.4 km) or by Jammu (259.2 km).
- Pahalgam is the first campsite for the pilgrims.
- It’s a long trek of 5 to 6 days, but a safer and easier trek.
- From there the trek follows Pissi top where you stop at Sheshnag lake then towards Panchtarni (the last camp in the journey to Amarnath temple.)
- From Panchtarni it’s only left 6kms trek to the holy cave.
Baltal: The New Route –
- A new route located at a distance of 14kms from the Amarnath caves.
- Ponies or trekking are the only two options from the site.
- This is a little challenging trek but a shorter one which lets you reach Amarnath temple within a day or 2.
Interesting facts about Amarnath Yatra.
- It is believed that the valley of Kashmir was once completely submerged into waters and Sage Kashyap was the one to drain its water into rivers and booklets.
- After the Sage Kashyap exposed the reign, the Amarnath cave becomes visible. Bhrigu Rishi who was walking through this terrain and found the Lingam in the cave. Since then the Pilgrims started the holy walk towards Amarnath.
- The Pilgrim tradition was believed to be lost in the ancient and medieval time. It was one and a half century back that a shepherd named Buta Malik, entered the cave following his flock, there a sage handed him a bag of coals which turned into gold after he got back home. Later when he went back to thank the sage, the sage wasn’t found but the Lingam of Shiva was spotted by him. Thereby he revealed the traditional spot to the world regaining the pilgrim tradition.
- It is believed that the cave is only reached by the pilgrims at the full moon.
Things to be taken care of before going on Amarnath Yatra
- The journey includes a lot of physical exhaustion, thus a person needs to be physically fit and mentally ready for that.
- Make sure you are physically stable, get a medical checkup.
- Start morning walks and jogging to improvise your trekking skills, a few days before yatra.
- In order to avoid fatigue while the trek, take baths from the lukewarm water after having the massage from oil.
- Keep enough amount of food and energy drinks to keep boosting your stamina up.
- Keep spare clothes for the chilly weather.
- Avoid taking children, old people, and disabled people.
- It’s faith and devotion that makes the Yatra possible for the devotee otherwise it’s not an easy or comfortable journey.
Medical assistance – It is mandatory for all the devotees to have the Compulsory medical health certificate from a certified doctor of your state. All the Yatris have to ensure that they get the CHC either from the certified doctor or the list of approved doctors given by Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board every year. This is a compulsory act due to the weather and difficulties at the high altitude. Not everyone’s metabolism is favorable at that altitude.
Pilgrims also need to purchase pre-activated sim cards at the base camps of Baltal, as the prepaid sim cards don’t work up there.
Thus the Amarnath Yatra begins at the safer level.