Amarnath cave is famous for the natural formation of the ice Shiva Linga along with two other formations of Ganesh and Parvati. It is believed that the lingam grows and shrinks with the phases of the moon, reaching its height during the summer festival.
Location of Amarnath Yatra
Amarnath Caves, about 5000 years old is one of the most famous pilgrimage destinations of the Hindus. Located in Jammu and Kashmir it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Amarnath yatra is organized every year by the Jammu and Kashmir government during July and August.
Places to see in Amarnath Yatra
To undertake the journey, you need to register yourself which can be done by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourist Offices located at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Jammu and Srinagar.
The trek from Pahalgam to Amarnathji cave is about 45 kms coverd over a period of 4 days. You can halt at nights in Chandanwari, Sheshnag (Wawjan) and Panchtarni. You start the first day 13km trek from Chandanwari. In this trek, you will cross Sheshnag, a mountain lake which derives its name from the seven peaks resembling a mythical snake.
The second day’s trek covers a stretch of 12km across Mahagunas Pass at 4,600 m till you reach the meadows of Panchtarni.
The last stretch from Panchtarni to Amarnathji cave is about 6km. It is recommended to start early for there is a long queue waiting for entry. You can have a darshan and return same day to Panchtarni for lunch.
On the fourth day you can return to Pahalgam.
This is the traditional route followed by most for the yatra. The other route is Jammu-Baltal-Holy Cave. This route is 414km which can be covered by taxis or buses. The journey from Jammu to Baltal is about 400km and from Baltal to the Holy Cave is 14kms.
Accomodations Hotels in Amarnath Yatra
Bhole Bhandari Charitable Trust (Regd.) provides tented accommodation & Community Kitchen (Langar) to the pilgrims TOTALLY FREE OF COST. This year this service will be made available at Panchtarni.
Free accommodation is also being provided by other Non Government Charitable Organisations. However, J&K Tourism Development Corporation too provides tented accommodation and shelters at nominal charges.
Best time to visit Amarnath Yatra
The time of the yatra is fixed by the government depending upon the climate of the region. It is usually during the month of Shravan (July-August).
How to reach Amarnath Yatra
By Air: The nearest airport is Srinagar. There are daily flights from Delhi and Jammu to Srinagar.
By Rail: Jammu is the nearest station. It is well connected with all other Indian cities.
By Road: Jammu and Kashmir is connected by buses and taxis as well.