Amarnath , Holy Destinations of India
Amarnath is 145 km east of Srinagar in Kashmir and is considered to be one of the major Hindu Dhams. There is an ice Siva-linga here that changes size with the seasons, and also as the moon waxes and wanes it becomes bigger and smaller. On the full moon day the linga is about 6 ft high. Each year on the full moon day of July-August [Sravana] when the Siva-linga attains its maximum height there is a festival at this cave temple. It is said that Lord Siva first appeared on this day.
Amarnath is located in a glacial valley at 3,888 m and is 45 km from Pahalgam and 141 km from Srinagar. The cave is about 150 feet high and 90 feet long. Within the cave there are four or five ice formations that resemble the figures of different gods. The biggest figure is regarded as Siva [Amarnath]. On the left side of the linga is an ice formation called Ganesh, and on the right side is one of Parvati and Bhairava.
The area is covered with snow from September to June. The cave opens only in July and August. This is the rainy season, so pilgrims have to brave the rain to get there. About 25,000 people make this pilgrimage each year. You can also hire ponies and dandies for the trip. It is very crowded during the annual Sravana festival. There is a yearly pilgrimage starting from Srinagar that is led by the Chhari Saheb, the holy scepter.
- Amarnath Yatra
Amarnath Yatra is one of the most important holy pilgrimage held during July - August. This is an annual event when thousands of Hindus from different corners of the Globe visit Amarnath caves. The pilgrims trek from Pahalgam to these caves and worship the great ice Lingam. Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in a cave in Amarnath. Unknown to them, a pair of mating doves 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 doves-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam [the phallic symbol of Shiva]. This is an event you certainly will talk about for the rest of your life.
Best Time to Visit: :-
The Amarnath Yatra is organised every year by the Jammu and Kashmir government during the month of Shravan [ July and August] the dates however , vary every year looking at the weather conditions and according to Purnima [Raksha Bandhan] in the month of Shravan [Vikrama Samwat].
Yatra to Baba Amarnath Holy Cave for which one has to trek a height of about 14,500 ft is full of thrill and joy. The feeling of divine which is always beneath ones heart , burst out and one realises Moksha as one attends the Cave and perform the prayer before the Shivlinga. Surrounded by beautiful valleys, mountains, one will always feel His presence on the paradise of the earth, the memory of which hardly vanishes with time. A journey which will rediscover the nature and its love which is always inside but one has never felt.
- How to Reach :
- Air: The nearest aerodrome is Srinagar. Srinagar is a beautiful valley having world famous sights to see, such as Dal Lake, Nagina Lake, Shankaracharya Temple, Mughal Gardens and what not. It is the most sought after tourist place. It is also known as Paradise on earth. Srinagar is summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. There are daily flights to Srinagar from Delhi and Jammu. On some week days flights also pickup passengers from Chandigarh and Amritsar .
- Rail: Jammu is the nearest Railway Station . Jammu is winter Capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu is a beautiful city and is also known as CITY OF TEMPLES. One may visit old temples such as Raghunath Temple , Mahadev Mandir and other temples . It is well connected with all stations of India.The various trains coming to Jammu are listed here below.
- Road: Jammu and Srinagar are also connected through road. Buses and Taxies are also available for this part of the journey .These can be hired on daily as well as full tour basis.
Route for Amarnath Yatra
1] JAMMU - PAHALGAM - HOLY CAVE. [Traditional Route]
3. PISSU TOP
6. THE HOLY CAVE SHRI AMARNATH
2] Jammu -Baltal - Holy cave [414km]
Jammu - Baltal [400km].
JAMMU - Udhampur - Kud - Patnitop - Ramban - Banihal - KaziGund - Anantnag - Srinagar - Sonamarg - Baltal.
3] Baltal to Holy Cave
From Baltal Holy Cave is just 14 Kms.