Amarnath Yatra or Lord Shiva's Shrine
145 km from Srinagar
July to August
Location of This
The most important event during
July/August, is Amarnath Yatra to the Holy Pilgrimage. 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. Amarnath is 145 km east of Srinagar in Kashmir. There is an ice Shiva-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. The site, India Travel Destinations accounts for tours to
Amaranth Yatra, which is an isolated height yet, one of the most sought after
centers of religious penance in India. It is located in a glacial valley at
4,175m (13,700 ft.). 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
Myths of Amarnath Yatra
A prominent fair and festival
in India, such as the Amaranth Yatra in India is one religious journey, which
does not involve humans in its myth. Lord Shiva has been known to be the most
perplexing of all deities, as knowledge concerning his origin is a nature kept
secret. It is here that the significance of this fair and festival in Kashmir,
The story narrated by people
about the discovery of this Holy Cave is of a Gujjar ( shepherd) Buta Malik. He
is given the credit of discovering this Holy Cave . Story goes like this , that
a saint gave Buta Malik a bag full of Coal. On reaching his home when he opened
the bag , to his utter surprise the bag was full of gold coins . This made him
overwhelmed with joy. He ran to thank the Saint . But, what he found was that
the Saint had disappeared . Instead , he found The Holy Cave and Shiv Lingam
there in . He announced the discovery of this to the Villagers. Then onwards
this has become the sacred place of Pilgrimage.
It is understood to be the
recollections of Lord Shiva as told to Goddess Parvati, which were overheard by
a divine pair of pigeons, which forms the rationale behind the Amaranth Yatra in
Kashmir, India. A traveling person called Mailk spotted the same divine pair of
pigeons, which led to the initiation of these religious odysseys being
undertaken every year to the far end of the Fidder valley. The chorus of the
devotees and the accompanying fun and regalia of the climb reach a deafening
crescendo as the trek progresses.
Visiting Season of Amarnath Yatra
The Amarnath Yatra is organised
every year by the J &K Govt. 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 Sharavan (Vikrama Samwat).
This year Yatra will be taken
up from between the month of July to August. 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.
to Reach There
Indian Airlines had daily flights to
Delhi and Srinagar. To reach there (Holy Cave Amarnath) 145 km from Srinagar,
and after this 90 km trekking There are also flights to Bombay, Calcutta,
Chandigarh, and Leh.
The Shalimar Express departs from Delhi at 4.10 pm and arrives in Jammu at 7 am.
There are other trains to and from Delhi. From Jammu there are direct trains to
Bombay, Calcutta (Jammu Tawi Exp # 3152, daily, 6.15 pm, 46 ½ hr). Most buses
leave between 6 and 7 am, in order to arrive before night.
A ticket to Srinagar should be
booked in advance. There are buses to Delhi (14 hr), Amritsar (5hr), and
Pathankot (3 hr). From Pathankot you can get a bus to Dharamshala and Dalhousie.
Route No - (I) (Traditional Route)
JAMMU PAHALGAM HOLY CAVE
Jammu to Pahalgam (315 km) The distance
between Jammu to Pahalgam can be covered by Taxi / Buses. These are available
at Tourist Reception Centre, J & K Govt., Raghunath Bazaar only early in the
morning. But one can also come to Srinagar by air and then move to Pahalgam by
It is 96 KM from Srinagar .This distance
can be covered by car,bus or taxi. Pahalgam is known all over the world for
its beauty. It is small town situated on the banks of Lidder River. It is
surrounded by high mountains. All essentials can be bought here. Good Hotels
are available for accommodation. However the arrangements for stay and Langar
are also made by the Non Government Service Organisations.
The distance from Pahalgam to Chandanwari
is 16km. The route is good .It can be covered by road transport also. Mini buses
are also available from Pahalgam to reach Chandanwari. The trail runs along the
Lidder River . The route is scenic. Food is available here. Pilgrims camp at
Pahalgam or Chandanwari on the first night .
3. PISSU TOP :
As the Yatra proceed further from
Chandanwari one climbs a height to reach Pissu Top. It is said that to be first
to reach for darshan of Bhole Nath Shivshankar there was a war between Devtas
and Rakshas . With the power of Shiv , devtas could kill the rakshas in such
large number that the heap of their dead bodies has resulted in this high
This second days trek of 12 kms
from Chandanwari is through Pissu Top and spectacular, primeval countryside,
and reaches Sheshnag a mountain which derives its name from its Seven Peaks,
resembling the heads of the mythical snake. The Journey to Sheshnag follows
steep inclines on the right bank of a cascading stream and wild scenery
untouched by civilisation. The second nights camp at Sheshnag overlooks the
deep blue waters of Sheshnag lake, and glaciers beyond it. There are legends of
love and revenge too associated with Sheshnag, and at the camp these are
narrated by campfires . The stillness of a pine scented Himalayan night
increases your inner joy. Yatris can take bath and get their fatigue alleviated.
It is beautiful and scenic.
From Sheshnag one has to climb
steep height up across Mahagunas Pass at 4276 mtrs.(14000 ft) for 4.6 KM and
then descending to the meadow lands of Panchtarni at a height of 3657 mtrs
(12000 ft). The last camp enroute to the Holy Cave
is made here on third day. Here one faces
cold winds which cause the skin to crack . Hence cold cream / Vaseline are very
useful for protection of skin. Some Yatris are also effected by deficiency of
oxygen .Some may get the feeling of vomiting . So dry fruit like Allu Bukhara
,sour and sweet eatables like Lemon are
useful to control these symptoms . The route to Mahagunas is full of rivulets ,
water falls , springs . Panchtarni is a
very beautiful place in the feet of BHAIRAV MOUNT. Five Rivers flow here . It
is said that the five rivers origanated from Lord Shiva's Hairs (Jataon).
Pilgrims camp at Panchtarni on the 3rd night.
THE HOLY CAVE
The Holy Cave of Shri Amarnath is
only 6 kms from Panchtarni. As there is no place to stay hence the pilgrims
start in the early hours of the morning after their stay at Panchtarni. On the
way to The Holy Cave one comes across the Sangam of Amravati and Panchtarni.
Some pilgrims take bath at Amravati near holy cave to become pious before going
for Darshan. Near the cave is found white soil known as Bhasam. It is the most
beloved soil of Shiv ji. The pilgrims apply this Holy soil to their body and
then go for Shivlingam Darshan. There are two smaller Shivlings one of Maa
Parvati and other of Shri Ganesh. It may be noted that after having early
Darshan of the Shivlinga at Holy Cave one can return to Panchtarni well in time
the same day . Some pilgrims camp at Panchtarni while others continue their
journey and reach back Sheshnag by the same evening.
Route No - (II) (New Route)
Jammu Baltal (400km)
The distance between Jammu and Baltal can
be covered by Taxis / Buses available at Tourist Reception Centre, J & K / bus
stand or one can come to Srinagar by air and then reach Baltal by road. The road
route followed is :
Jammu Udhampur Kud - Patnitop
Ramban Banihal KaziGund Anantnag Srinagar - Sonamarg Baltal.
journey from Jammu to Baltal which is about 400 kms. is full of beautiful Sites
and one can experience of being in Heaven , a Paradise on earth. Passing
through beautiful valleys, steeped mountains, one is sure of forgetting ,
oneself as a person ,for a while . A thrill, which is obviously there in every
pilgrim gets enhanced while passing through this way owing to the Darshan of
Holy Cave. In nutshell, a journey which can go down to your memory throughout
This distance can be covered
by foot / Ponies. However, Dandies are also available for handicapped and old
aged pilgrims. The width of the pebbled (kuchha) road is a bit narrow as
compared to the Chandanwari-Holy Cave route, moreover , there are some steep
rises & falls on the way , as compared to the Chandanwari route, but pilgrims
can return back to base camp Baltal through this route only in one day.
Packages to Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir, India /
Hotels in Kashmir