Amarnath Yatra 2021 has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the devotees can attend the morning and evening aarti virtually online on the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board website. The 56 days Amarnath Yatra was proposed to start on 28 June 2021 and culminate on 22 August 2021.
The Amarnath yatra attracts lakhs of pilgrims every year who visit the site during Shravani Mela in July-August (Shravan month in Hindu calendar) - the only time in the whole year when the Amarnath Cave is accessible. The cave is placed at an altitude of 3,888m, about 141 km from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir and reached through Pahalgam town. The shrine has an important part to play in Hinduism and is considered to be one of the holiest shrines. The annual 'Amarnath Yatra' is marked by 'Pratham Pujan' which is said to invoke the blessings of Baba Amarnath.
Moreover, since 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, the 'lingam' reaches a maximum around July-August when the ice caps around the cave are melting. Water seeps into the rocks that form the cave and progressively fade thereafter. As per the religious beliefs, it has been claimed that the lingam grows and shrinks with the phases of the moon reaching its height during the summer festival.
Amarnath Yatra Official Opening Dates 2021
Amarnath Yatra 2021 is cancelled
The Amarnath Yatra starts with 'Pratham Pujan' to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva. The best and the pleasant part of the yatra is between Guru Purnima and Shravan Purnima. The devotees reach the base camp from where the actual yatra starts.
Amarnath Yatra Registration Process 2021
- The registration will be on a first come first serve basis.
- Every yatri has to submit an application form and a compulsory health certificate (CHC) along with the required documents to obtain the yatra permit. The forms can be downloaded from here
- These forms will also be available free of cost at the registration branch of the bank. Here is the complete list of 446 approved bank branches for 2021
- Since 2014, the SASB has also initiated a 'group registration scheme' for yatris intending to travel with friends, family or neighbours. Details of registration for NRIs/ex-yatri have been made available here - http://www.shriamarnathjishrine.com/
Amarnath Yatra Registration Fees 2021
The registration fees will be INR 100 per yatri/per permit.
One yatra permit will be valid for registering one yatri only
Travelling to Amarnath: How To Reach Amarnath Yatra Base
Two Routes to Amarnath
The Northern route is 14 km long and is shorter. It is steep, hence difficult to climb. It starts at Baltal. The longer, easier and more traditional one passes through Srinagar.
The devotees start the Amarnath Yatra from Srinagar or Pahalgam on foot and take one of the two possible routes. The shorter but steeper trek via Baltal, Domial, Barari and Sangam is 14 km long and allows people to take a round trip in 1-2 days. However, ponies are not allowed on this route due to safety reasons. One has to either walk or be carried on 'Dandies' (carried on a seat atop shoulders of other people). This Amarnath Yatra route is considered more favourable for returning back from the shrine than on the way up as steep slope is said to cause serious health problems among un-acclimatised visitors. Young, healthy and people looking for adventure amidst the religious trip happen to take this trek.
The longer Amarnath Yatra route via Pahalgam is generally preferred by most of the devotees. The length of the trek varies from 36 to 48 km depending upon the devotion of the pilgrim. The trek usually takes 3-5 days one way. The Amarnath route is much wider than the Baltal trek and slopes gradually. However, one will also find it crowded by ponies for almost the whole of the route. Aged, sick or people with a past history of illnesses are advised to take this yatra route.
Amarnath Yatra In Helicopter
Starting Point: Baltal helipad
Starting Point: Pahalgam helipad
Timings for all rides are according to service providers and should be strictly adhered to.
Prices yet to be announced for 2021
A maximum of 5 bookings is allowed against a single debit/credit card. The same card cannot be used for booking for the next 3 weeks. The debit/credit card used for booking should be reproduced at the time of issuing a boarding pass.
For safety purposes, children below 13 years, elderly aged above 75 years and ladies more than 6 weeks pregnant are not allowed to undertake the pilgrimage.
Journey to The Cave From the Drop-off:
If opting for the helicopter ride, the pilgrim will be dropped at Panjtarni, which is a 6km (2 hours) walk to the Amarnath caves but with many pilgrims present, the walk will take up to 4 hours on easy terrain. Do note that it is a difficult walk as the temperatures are lower and also the altitude sickness which recommends a slower pace when walking to the caves.
There is the option of hiring a Palki as they will take you to the cave directly. Pony rides are available too but they will drop you off 2 kms before reaching the cave as the terrain gets a slight slope.
All pilgrims/travellers intending to avail helicopter services for Amarnath Yatra are required to furnish a Compulsory Health Certificate (CHC) for each individual, duly issued by authorised doctors/institutions, as per instructions laid down by Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB). The list of authorized doctors/institutions is made available on the official website well in time before the commencement of advance bookings.
No pilgrim/traveller shall be allowed to board the helicopter without submitting a CFC, issued on the specified date. Any CFC issued before/after the specified date will be rendered invalid.
Camps with prefabricated huts are available for overnight stay at Baltal, Nunwan, Sheshnag and Panjtarni. These camps are arranged by Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board through private contractors and cost around INR 250-375 per night.
Private Tents and huts are also set up at multiple places along the Amarnath Yatra route. These have accommodation available on floor and cot along with quilts, mattress, blankets and pillows. These cost around INR 250-1000 per night.
Baltal Route: Manigam, Baltal, Holy Cave
Pahalgam Route: Nunwan, Chandanwari, Sheshnag, Panjtarni
- Free food, water and refreshment is available to the yatris along the Amarnath Yatra route.
- Langar are set up at various locations during the yatra period
- Ration for cooking food is available from the specially established Govt. Depots at Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panjtarni at fair prices
- Numerous tea-stall and small restaurants are available at various locations
- Carry snacks like biscuit, canned food, dry fruits, chocolate, roasted chana, etc
- Neelgrath Helipad (Baltal) waiting lounge has a cafeteria
- Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) provide transport facility during Amarnath Yatra. Hi/tech/Super Deluxe, Deluxe and Semi-Deluxe buses are available from Jammu and Srinagar to Pahalgam and Baltal. Booking counters are established at multiple points in these cities during the yatra duration.
- Medical facilities are available to the yatris en route to the Amarnath Cave. Several Medical Aid Center(MAC), Emergency Aid Center (EAC) and base hospitals are set at different points along the route.
- Cloakroom facility to store your belongings is provided by the Amarnathji Shrine Board at Nunwan, Baltal and Amarnath Cave. These cost INR 10 for 24 hours.
- Parking facility is available at Baltal base camp for Two Wheelers (INR 30), LMVs (INR 75) and MMVs (INR 150-225)
- BSNL connectivity is available on the yatra route. Pre-loaded yatra sims are provided by BSNL to the yatris for INR 230
Legend of Amarnath
Children below 13 years of age and adults above 75 years of age are not allowed, and pregnant women are also not advised to take this journey. Considering this trek is one of the most challenging tasks, a health certificate has to provided by each individual.