Must Visit

Amarnath Yatra

4.2 / 5 68 votes


Weather:

Time Required: 3 - 5 days

Timings:

Between July and August every year

Entry Fee:

The cave has no entry fee. Helicopter booking from Srinagar from 10,000 INR onwards
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Amarnath Yatra, Amarnath Overview

The Amarnath yatra route 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 in Hinduism. The annual 'Amarnath Yatra' is marked by 'Pratham Pujan' which is said to invoke the blessings of Baba Amarnath.

The cave is embraced by snowy mountains. The cave itself is covered with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims. Thousands of Hindu devotees make an annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave on a rugged, mountainous terrain to see an ice pole formed inside the cave. Inside the 130 ft high Amarnath cave, the ice stalagmite is molded due to the freezing of water drops that fall from the roof of the cave onto the floor and rises up vertically from the cave floor. It is considered to be a Shiva Linga by Hindus.
The Cave waxes during May to August, as snow melts in the Himalayas above the cave and the resulting water, seeps into the rocks that form the cave and progressively fades 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. According to a Hindu mythology, this is the cave where Shiva enlightened the secret of life and eternity to his divine consort, Parvati. The main purpose of the annual pilgrimage to the cave is worship of the ice stalagmite Lingam.

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Disciples travel on foot, either from Srinagar or from Pahalgam. The latter journey takes approximately 5 days. The trek is very sharp slope and is quite difficult to climb. It starts from Baltal and passes through Domial, Barari, and Sangam to reach the cave.

Total trek distance of 30 kilometers. The ardous trek is undertaken by devotees in thousands each year. Pregnant ladies and children are advised to not undertake this trek.

Approximately 36 kms

Children below 13 years of age and adults above 75 years of age are not allowed, and pregnant women are also not advised to taken this journey. Considering this trek is one of the most challenging tasks, a health certificate has to provided by each individual.

Srinagar is the capital of Jammu & Kashmir and well connected to the rest of the country by air. Jammu is well connected by railways to the rest of the country and the yatra can be started from here as well with various operators.

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