The very auspicious Amarnath Yatra is a Hindu pilgrim's journey to the Amarnath Cave, named after the Mount Amarnath (5,486 m a.s.l.). Due to the high altitude location, the cave is covered with snow for most part of the year. It is only during a short period in summer that devotees are able to undertake a journey up to the cave. The ice content of the cave, believed to be the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva, has a significant place in the Hindu mythology. Though the cave of Amarnath lies at high altitude where temperature is quite low and the journey is arduous, nothing seems to discourage the pilgrims from travelling there. Truly, spirituality is the lifeblood of the nation in India.
Today, Amarnathji Yatra is an essential part of the Hindu pilgrimage and though the route is difficult to negotiate, it is equally exciting. Every year, thousands of devotees come to pay homage before Shiva in one of his famous Himalayan abodes.
Lord Shiva - The Creator, Preserver and the Destructor
Lord Shiva is the creator, preserver as well as the destructor of this universe. The Lord's attributes represent his victory over the demonic activity, and calmness of human nature. Amarnathji yatra embodies this spirit of adventure and helps human being to attain the ultimate level of spirituality.
Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of immortality & creation in the Amarnath cave. Unknown to them, a pair of mating pigeons eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the pigeons-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).
Amarnath Cave Traditional Route
Jammu - Pahalgam - Holy Cave : Jammu to Pahalgam is a distance of 315 km. Regular taxi and bus services connect Jammu with Pahalgam. Another option is to fly to Srinagar and then drive to Pahalgam. Get in touch with our travel counsellors for further route information.
We offer cheap, affordable & best deals in Amarnath Yatra tour packages 2016 from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Jaipur and all the major cities of India. Amarnath tour packages include accommodation as well as transportation facilities. Nowadays, Amarnath Yatra Package by Helicopter is more popular among the devotees for being easy and time saving.
Jaipur and all the major cities of India. Amarnath tour packages include accommodation as well as transportation facilities. Nowadays, Amarnath Yatra holiday Package by Helicopter is more popular among the devotees for being easy and time saving.
Amarnath : The Cave and its History:
Situated at a height of 3,888m in Jammu and Kashmir; around 14km from Baltal and 46km fromPahalgam, the Amarnath Cave sits gracefully in a picturesque gorge in the Lidder Valley. According to the Hindu Puranas, the existence of the cave is related to pre-historic times and was rediscovered quite a few times. Two of the most popular and widely believed tales depict that once a local shepherd named Buta Malik received a bag full of coal from a saint. On returning home, he opened the bag and to his surprise, he found gold coins inside the bag! To express his gratitude, when he went to the spot where he met the saint, he couldn't trace the holy person, but discovered this sacred cave. Since then, the Amarnath Cave has been worshipped by the devotees.
Another story says, once the entire Kashmir Valley got submerged during an epic flood. A pious saint called Kashyapa Rishi drained out the water with the help of a series of rivers and streams. After the valley reappeared, Bhrigu Muni visited the Amarnath Cave and had a 'darshan' of the "Lingam'. Since then, the cave has become a major pilgrimage for the Hindu devotees.
Lord Shiva; also known as the 'Transformer' or the 'Destroyer' or the God who follows as ascetic life and resides in the Mount Kailash, is worshiped in the form of a 'Lingam' throughout the world.
According to the legends, the Lord, who is considered as one of the most powerful deities in Hinduism, is believed to reveal the secrets of His immortality to his wife Mother Parvati in this cave. Legends also has it that while narrating the tales of his endless life, a pair of pigeon overheard the secret and gained immortality. Even till now, devotees find it hard to believe when they find a pair of pigeons within the cave; technically speaking, the extreme climatic conditions of the cave is hardly suitable for birds like pigeons.
Since ages and centuries, during the 'Sharavan' month of Hindu calendar (July – August) or the summers, as the glaciers around the cave starts melting, the droplets freezes down at the bosom of the cave. The freezing of the droplets give rise to an ice Lingam, and folklores has it that during this time, the Lord descends down to Earth and blesses his pious devotees. This devout faiths and beliefs of the devotees attracts them towards this cave despite of all the challenges on the route to the Amarnath Cave.
Amarnath Yatra: The Route
This sacred journey to the Amarnath Cave usually starts from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir or Pahalgam. Another popular route to the cave also starts from Balta and meets the first route in Sangam, which is around 3km away from the cave. Though the Baltal-Amarnath route is shorter, the extreme natural conditions and the steep climbs in this route makes it near to impossible for the aged and elderly devotees. Also, the arduous terrains makes it quite impossible for the devotees with basic or normal physical fitness.
On the other hand, the route from Srinagar or Pahalgam passes through Chandanwari (9,500 feet), Sheshnag (11,730 feet), Mahagunstop (14,500 feet), Panijtarni (12,729 feet), Sangam and finally to the cave. Though the route comprises of several enthralling ascends and descends, narrow passes in the higher altitudes, the devout feelings towards the God make the devotees overcome all the challenges and visit the Amarnath Cave within a span of 5 days.
Facilities and Assistance During the Yatra
Every year, this amalgamation of millions of devotees from all over the world is welcomed by several Non-profit organisers, locals and the Government as well. Tents, food-pandals and resting arrangements are made on the way to make the journey less tiring for the devotees.
The devotees can also hire ponies, human palkis or even avail the helicopter ride from Panjtarni Base, which is around 6km from the cave and complete the Amarnath Yatra.
Amarnath Yatra in 2015
This year's Amarnath Yatra has been scheduled for a period of 59 days. Starting from the 2nd of July, the first day of the 'Pushotam Purnima', this auspicious Yatra will continue till the 29th of August or the 'Shravan Purnima'.
Dos and Don'ts in Amarnath Yatra
- The five days Yatra indulges hiking through several peaks and high altitude terrains. Physical fitness is a must in order to complete the Yatra successfully.
- The temperature in the higher altitudes are significantly lower than the normal plains. Take enough of warm or woollen clothes to keep yourself warm.
- Always rely on trekking shoes with good quality grip on the terrains.
- Expecting mothers, patients with serious ailments like breathing problem, heart problems and other similar ailments must not take the Yatra.
- As the terrains can get unpredictable at times, children below 13 years and elderly people above 75 years shouldn't be allowed for this Yatra.
- If you are travelling in a group, stay intact with the other members.
- Carry enough of drinking water, ready to eat commodities, energy drinks, chocolate bars and other such energisers during the Amarnath Yatra.
- Any missing group members should be immediately informed to the nearest police-check post.
- Dump the wastages only in the dustbins and also encourage others to do the same.
- Carry your Yatra-card and a valid ID proof with your detailed address and emergency contact numbers.
Amarnath Tour History
Amarnath, the holy adobe of Lord Shiva, is the most sacred place on earth. At an altitude of 3,888 meters in Jammu & Kashmir (India) this shrine is surrounded by snow capped mountains and challenging terrains which can be passed only on foot or the ponies. But nowadays helicopters are also being used to take people to the holy shrine. Inside the 40 meters high Amarnath cave, the stalagmite is shaped because of freezing of water drops that drop from the roof of the cave on to the floor and grows up upright from the cave floor. It is conceived to be a Shiva Linga by Hindus.
According to the common religious beliefs, it has been claimed that the lingam grows and shrinks with the phases of the moon accomplishing its maximum height during the summer festival, even though there is no scientific proof for this belief. As per the Hindu legend, this is the cave where Lord Shiva explained the secret of life and perpetuity to his wife Parvati. Two other ice formations in the same cave represent Parvati and Lord Shiva's son, Lord Ganesha. The chief reason of the annual pilgrimage to the cave is worship of the ice stalagmite Lingam by the Lord Shiva's devotees from all over the world.
Amongst the beautiful and snow clad high mountains the journey to the cave will make you feel your existence on the land renowned for its unmatched beauty and pertinently called the heaven on earth.
Ancient Hindu epics and history has a lot of stories about the holy caves and the Shivling of Amarnath which has been passed on to the generations and still making Amaranth an important pilgrim centre for the devotees from all over India and abroad.
The climatic conditions here are very vague. Rain or snowfall may occur at any time or place while the Yatra. It is to be chiefly observed that sudden changes in temperature might take place. Sunny weather may turn into rain or snow fall in a very short time. The temperature may fall up to -5 degree C at times and the climatic conditions might go worse. But nothing can stop the devotees to go to Amarnath Cave and offer their prayers to the Lord Shiva.
India, not just the largest democracy in the world, but also a land where everyone bows down joining their hands to welcome their guest! A land, where the Mother Ganges, the mighty Himalayas and Lord Shiva are not just worshiped, but also considered as the driving forces of Life.
In such a mystical land where life centres around pious beliefs, religious faiths and cultural values, the holy 'Amarnath Yatra' stands as one of the devout pilgrimage that binds all! A journey that takes the devotees to the 'Amarnath Cave Temple', which is located at around 12,756 feet in the lap of the Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir, it is one of the most sacred pilgrimage for the Hindus.
Taking place every year, here are some of the must know facts about this sacred Yatra: