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Amarnath

3.6 /5 41 votes

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Best Time: May-Sep Read More

Ideal duration: 1 day

Nearest Airport: Srinagar Check Flights

"A haven for pilgrims."

Amarnath Tourism

Amarnath is one of the most important pilgrimage in India for the worshippers of Lord Shiva. The Amarnath cave is haven to an enshrined image of ice called the Shivaling formed naturally, which resembles Lord Shiva.

The destination is visited by millions of tourists every year from all across the world in what is famously known as the 'Amarnath Yatra'. The Amarnath cave situated in this town is considered to be a devout location for the pilgrims, most notably Hindus. Legend has it that, this place is regarded to be the same cave where Lord Shiva revealed the secret of life and eternity to Goddess Parvati. How about you visit the place, and end up finding your very own formula to eternity?

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The Amarnath Yatra

The Amarnath Yatra takes place once a year for a duration of 45 days, starting from somewhere in July and extending till late August. The Amarnath cave is the holy shrine houses the Shiva Linga, made out of ice (an accumulation of droplets of water that freezes upon touching the floor of the cave). It is this Shiva Linga that devotees come to see and seek blessings from. There is a train route available from most parts of the country to Jammu. It's a total 45 km to traverse; out of which, the first 15 km to Chandanwari can be traversed by a bus in a few hours. The actual trek begins after that and takes anywhere from 2-4 days to reach. There are various means to reach the Amarnath cave; on foot, on horses, or by a helicopter. The entire rendezvous with the ice Shiva Linga does not last more than a few seconds due to a flood of people, but a mesmerizing experience, nevertheless.

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History of Amarnath

Amarnath is probably the most popular abode for a pilgrimage trip. What makes a trip up there more valuable is perhaps the numerous mythological and historical stories attached to it. The most popular story is perhaps of the Amarnath cave. It is said, that Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva, once questioned him upon the necklace of beads that he used to wear, and what it stood for. Shiva then informed her that each bead stood for a skull that he added to his necklace everytime Parvati was reborn. She further questioned him upon the story behind his immortality. To relay this story (Amar Katha), Shiva found a cave (Amarnath cave) as a perfect spot, which would ensure secrecy. He also created Rudra, who happened to fire up the entire cave in order to make sure that no living being could listen to this tale. It so happened, however, that a pigeon egg was left hidden, and later hatched into a pair of pigeons. It is said that these pigeons became immortal upon hearing the “Amar Katha”. A number of pilgrims have claimed to have seen those pigeons. Another story, about 700 years ago, tells about the discovery of the Amarnath cave by a shepherd, Buta Malik, who received a bag full of coal from a sage. The bag turned full of gold as soon as he reached home. Overcome with delight, he returned to thank the sage, only to find a cave with a Shiva Linga.

Amarnath Yatra Registration Process 2018

This year, Shri Amarnathji Yatra will commence from June 28, registration of which will begin from March 1, 2018. 437 designated branches of Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank, located in 32 states and union territories have been authorized by the board to take all the necessary steps for registration. The form is also made available online for all intending yatris, along with the compulsory health certificate. The registration will be on first come first serve basis.

Fees: The registration fees will be INR 50 per yatri/per permit.

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-yatris have been made available here.

Restaurants and Local Food in Amarnath

There are absolutely no restaurants in Amarnath. But there are pandals at every nook and corner for the pilgrims to help suffice their food requirements. Few ashrams and Dharamshala has eateries which provides good and quality food.
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One Day Itinerary

Day 1- Reach Pahalgam by either a bus ride or a cab from the Jammu Tawi Railway Station. Spend the day at the hotel, soak in the beauty of the snow-capped hills in the scenery and brace yourself for the trek to Amarnath; or you can visit the Sheshnag Lake for a breathtaking view.
Day 2- Take a local bus service to reach Chandanwari, the first stop for the trek to Amarnath. From there, you have the options of either walking and reaching Amarnath after a rough 2 days; or hire a horse for yourself to save your feet the effort. After traveling some 15 km, take a halt, set yourself up at the camps around and indulge in some Bhandara food (which is free of cost) and prepare for the trek next day.
Day 3- Set out for trek again and reach the Amarnath caves for the Darshan. Start for the journey down the valley. Alternatively, you can take a helicopter ride from Baltal (which is near Pahalgam) to Panchtarni, the nearest point where helicopters can land to the Amaranth caves. From Panchtarni, you can take a horse or travel on foot for 10-odd minutes and reach the Amarnath caves. Get over with the Darshan and take the helicopter ride back to Baltal.

Amarnath Photos

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Mesmerizing scenic beauty. An important pilgrim site for Hindus. Close to some of the best hill stations in J&K.

What's Not So Great?

The weather is unpredictable; can get extremely chilled; severe snowfall. The paths to trek can be a little dangerous. Avalanches are common. Tricky for physically unfit people and those with medical ailments.

For Whom?

The highlight of this city is a Hindu shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva; Amarnath is the 'it' destination for all pilgrims.

How To Reach Amarnath

The nearest airport to Amarnath is the Srinagar airport. Anyway, the journey commences from Pahalgam which is a bus ride of 2 hours from the airport. The nearest railway station to Pahalgam remains the Jammu Tawi Railway Station. From there, you can reach Amarnath by helicopter, on foot, or by pony rides.

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Amarnath Reviews

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Surbhi Parashar 12 months ago
- Carry extra food and supplies with you, being at a high altitude and having to suffice to the needs of hordes of pilgrims, facilities are not present at proper intervals.
- Winters are extremely cold, proper clothing would be a no-brainer.
- Have a guide with you or make a well researched plan for yourself and only then embark on to your trip.
- Check out the prices of pony rides online first or ask your friends who might have been here earlier. You do not want to be fooled.
- Be in constant touch with family and friends, because this is a highly populated affair during the Shravana months.
- Have proper medication along with you, because this is going to be a highly treacherous and hectic journey.
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