The ice-caped cave temple Amarnath is one of the sacred Hindu pilgrimage centres in Northern India, at an altitude of approx 17,000 ft above sea level. The cave is believed to be a house, where Lord Shiva narrated Amar Katha, the secret of life and eternity. One can feel the divine spiritual vibration at Amarnath as it is considered as one of the holiest shrines. It is the only place where Lingham takes shape on its own. The ice is collected from the water dripping from the top of the cave due to the melting of the ice on top of it and the shrine is constructed.
Every year ‘Amarnath Yatra’ is marked by ‘Pratham Pujan’. Thousands of people from all over the world visit the cave to summon blessings. If you are planning a trip to Amarnath, then here are some important details you should know about.
The history of Amarnath is as interesting as the Yatra is. It is believed that the Amarnath cave is the place where Lord Shiva narrated AMAR KATHA to Parvati for her immortality.
Shiva left all his companions- Nandi, the bull – left at Pahalgam, the moon atop his head at Chandanwari, snake around neck at Lake Sheshnag, the 5 basic essentials of life that he carried at Panchtarini and even his son- Lord Ganesha himself- at Mahaguna top and entered in cave with Parvati.
He orders Agni Devta to demolish all the living creatures around so nobody can hear Amar Katha. On the order of Lord Shiva, Agnidev demolished everything but didn’t destroy an egg as it is not counted, unlike living creatures. After a while, the parrot hatched the egg. Lord Shiva started narrating the Amar Katha but in between, Parvati fell asleep and the parrot was the one who was nodding from behind. When he finished the narration, he realized that Goddess Parvati had actually fallen asleep and a parrot was listening all this while. Lord Shiva tried to kill the parrot but he flew away and entered into the womb of a Saint’s wife. The parrot then took birth and became a famous sage and, interestingly, his face took the shape of a parrot.
How to reach Amarnath
Every year Yatra is organized by the government of Jammu and Kashmir. Yatra attracts lakhs of pilgrims during Shravani Mela in July-August as it is the only time in the whole year when the Amarnath Cave is accessible.
There are two ways to reach Amarnath, which are connected to major cities – Baltal and Pahalgam.
1. Amarnath Yatra via Pahalgam
This route is generally preferred by
most of the devotees. The length of the trec
k varies from 36 to 48 km depending upon the devotion of the pilgrim. It usually takes 3-5 days.
- Amarnath Yatra via Baltal
This route is 14 km long and allows people to reach it in 1-2 days. One has to walk or be carried on ‘Dandies’ if they choose this route.
However, this route is favorable for returning back.
Both the routes provide the best possible facilities organized by Indian Army, Central Government and State Government Police Forces.
Amarnath Yatra In Helicopter
Starting Point: Baltal helipad
Starting Point: Pahalgam helipad
Cave to Drop-off point:
If a pilgrim opts for the helicopter ride, he/she will be dropped at Panjtarni, which is a 6km (2 hours) walk to the Amarnath caves but with many visiters present, the walk will take up to 4 hours.
The climate in Amarnath fluctuates frequently. Generally, the winters are long and partly cloudy. The weather ranges between 9 to 34 degrees Celsius.
Yatra Dates 2022
This year, Amarnath Yatra started on 30 June 2022 and will finish on 11 August 2022. The 43-day Yatra will accommodate approx 3 lakh pilgrims.
While planning the trip, one must ensure to keep-
• Warm clothes & woolen caps
• Windbreaker Jackets.
• Waterproof shoes and raincoat.
• Trekking stick or Dandies.
• Water bottles
• First aid kit for emergency situations.
• Torch which might be helpful for you at night.