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Amarnath Travel Guide

Amarnath Yatra: The mystical journey to self discovery

Shiv Linga Amarnath

The Amarnath Cave is one of the holiest Hindu shrines located in Southern Kashmir. It is believed that the sacred ice stalagmite denotes Lord Shiva. It is also believed that there are other ice formations present near the Shiv Linga, especially of Goddess Parvati and Bhairava. It is believed to be 5000 years old. The temperature of this cave reaches to around 15 to -5 degree Celsius. It is also called as Bhrigu Rishi .

According to Hinduism, Lord Shiva revealed the fundamental secrets regarding the life and this universe to his consort, Goddess Parvati in the Amarnath Cave. The Cave is 3,880 metre above the sea level. People from different nationalities have read about Lord Shiva and the entire challenging journey to travel from Pahalgam Town to the Amarnath Cave, often on foot, draws the interest of others. This is why millions of devotees do trek the daunting mountains to pay obeisance to the Shiv Linga in the Amarnath Shrine. Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) manages the administration of the  Amarnath Shrine.

The Shiv Linga is formed with the accumulation of water droplets falling from the roof, eventually leading to the creation of the stalagmite. Hinduism also states that the different phases of the moon do influence the size of the stalagmite. For example, the ice stalagmite reaches more than 6 feet during the full moon day of Rakshabandhan.

Amarnath Yatra

Though, this has not been scientifically proved as of now.  The Cave is open for the devotees from May to August. It is believed that the holy cave was discovered by a Muslim shepherd called as Buta Malik, around 150 years back. The other myth states that Kashyap Rishi tried to drain the over flooded Kashmir Valley and it was Bhrigu Rishi, who supposedly got the first darhsan of the Amarnath Caves.

Excursions from Amarnath Cave

Amarnath Yatra: This adventurous and challenging trek takes place in the month of Shravan (end of June). It is officially recognised by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and every year around 3-4 lakh pilgrims undertake this arduous journey. The yatra normally takes 5-6 days to complete.

Chandanwari: Located 16 km away from Pahalgam, the sacred Amarnath Yatra starts from Chandanwari. Tourists also come to Chandanwari for snow sledging.

Pahalgam: It is a very sought after destination. It is situated on the banks of the River Lidar. It is known for being the base camp for the devotees participating in the Amarnath Yatra.

Shankracahrya Shrine: Several devotees who undertake the Amarnath Yatra visit this shrine which has been built in the memory of the the Indian Philosopher Shankrachargya. It is located 1000m above the city of Kashmir.

Amarnath Yatra

Sheshnag Lake: The location of the lake is at a high altitude and thus, it also falls on the track from Pahalgam to Sheshnag. In accordance to the Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva had taken off his snake at this lake, before entering the Amarnath Cave.

When to Reach:
Normally, the Amarnath Yatra begins in the end of June and continues till mid of August. It is essential for all the pilgrims to complete advance registration. The specified route and day are clearly mentioned in the Yatra Permit. This registration process begins in the month of March. A compulsory health certificate needs to be provided by every pilgrim, who is either trekking the route or covering it through the helicopter.

How To Reach
The nearest airport to Pahalgam is located at Srinagar which is almost 87km away. The Srinagar airport is properly connected to Chandigarh, Mumbai, Leh, Jammu and New Delhi.
The nearest railhead to Pahalgam is located at Jammu Tawi, which is at a distance of 157 km. Road: Regular bus services are available from near by cities of Srinagar and Anantnag.

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