Time Required: 3-4 hrs
Open Time: Dates vary every year between Last week of June to Mid August.
Located in Jammu and Kashmir, the Amarnath Cave is a Hindu Shrine and is visited by lakhs of people every year. It is located at an altitude of 3,888 m. The Amarnath falls into the categories of the most famous Hindu Shrines. Lakhs and Thousands of devotees make a pilgrimage to the cave during summers, while it is open, as they cross challenging mountain terrains to reach to the ice stalagmite formed inside the cave.
The shrine, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is almost 5000 years old. It holds an important place in Hindu Mythology. Inside it is an ice stalagmite which resembles Lord Shiva and waxes during the months of May to August. The water seeps into the rocks and soon wanes after that. It is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva explained his consort Goddess Parvati about the secrets of life and eternity.
There are two other ice formations which represent Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva's son Lord Ganesh. People visit here during the Shravani Mela which is a 45 day season in July-August. It takes five days for the devotees to reach the destination on foot from either Srinagar or Pahalgam.
The Linga is 40 m high and is formed due to the freezing water which falls from the roof of the cave. It grows vertically from the floor to the rooftop. As per believes, the Linga grows and shrinks according to different phases of the moon to its height during the summer festival.
The State Transport and the Private Operators provide bus services from Jammu to Pahalgam and Baltlal. These are the two places from where you start the Amarnath Yatra.
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