The popular belief is that it was
here at the holy cave of Amarnath that lord Shiva narrated to
Parvati about the mysteries behind the creation. Two mating
doves accidentally heard this heavenly conversation and were
able to know the secret of births and the devotees believe
that these doves were born again and again and made the cave
as their perpetual abode. Though a legendary belief so many
devotees testified that they had seen a pair of doves in the
snow covered Amarnath caves.
Amarnath cave is an integral part of ancient Hindu mythology.
Believed to be 5000 years old, this cave adorns a special
significance since as per the legends, it was here that the
lord explained the secrets of life to his beloved wife. The
cave holds numerous myths and legends and whatever are the
truth behind these tales, the shrine witnesses’ huge
gatherings every year, the number of which is increasing year
Amarnath Yatra Route
Pahalgam is Base Camp of Amarnathji yatra which stands at 3952
mtrs, 46.7 km from Pahalgam. The Holy Cave is believed to be
the abode of Lord Shiva. The ice lingam formed by water
droplets, symblises Lord Shiva . People visit the Holy Cave
during the scheduled Yatra period. Yatris can hire a pony of
Dandy from Pahalgam.
Chandanwari & Passage To The Amarnath Yatra
Situated 16-km from Pahalgam, Chandanwari is the starting
point of the Amarnath Yatra, which takes place every year in
the month of Sawan (Rain). The destination is the Amarnath
Cave, believed to the abode of Lord Shiva. Although the road
from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is on fairly flat terrain, and
can be undertaken by car, from Chandanwari onwards the track
becomes much steeper, being accessible on foot or by pony.
Located 11-km from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of
Sheshnag, after which 13-km away is the last stop, Panchtarni.
The Amarnath cave is 6-km away from there. During the month of
'Sawan', an ice stalagmite forms a natural Shivling (also
spelt as Shivlinga), which waxes and wanes with the phases of
The state government makes extensive arrangements every year
for the successful completion of the pilgrimage, registering
each one of the over one lakh pilgrims, pony owners and Dandi
Walas, providing camps en route, and ensuring safe,
comfortable and speedy progress of the Yatris.
Even if one's visit to Pahalgam is not during the period of
the Yatra, one can still take a pony ride up to Sheshnag Lake,
returning late evening.
Distances of stopovers from Pahalgam are : Chandanwari 16 km
Pissu top 19.6 km Sheeshnag 25.6 km, Holy Cave 46 . 7 km.
All stopovers have facilities from tents to medical comps and
langars, The trek is covered in 2 to 3 days. This Hindu
pilgrimage is believed to be the discovery of a Muslim
shepherd nomed Butta Malik who’s descendant still receive a
percentage of the donations made by pilgrims. The Yatra
Generally during June to August depending upon the Hindu
calendar (Sawan Purnima)
Via Baltal Route
Best time to visit : April to October
This beautiful meadow is right at the foot of the Zoji La pass
and thus is the final place in Kashmir. The river from the
foot of the Amarnath glacier meets the Indus near Baltal. It
stands at a height of 2,743m and during the Amarnath
pilgrimage there are tents set up here. It is possible to walk
to the Amarnath cave, more usually approached from Pahalgam,
in one day. Check about conditions before departing, though.
The weather can be treacherous and at other times melting snow
and ice make the route very dangerous. There's now a jeep road
most of the way to the cave. The turn off to Baltal is at
94-km on the Leh road, and then it's 3-km or so downhill.
Baltal, 15 km from Sonamarg at an altitude of 2743 m , is
the base camp of Amarnathji yatra . The meandering trek of 14
k from Baltal leads to the Holy Cave . You can easily return
the same day by early evening to Baltal where ample tents are
available at affordable cost. Panies and Danies from Baltal
can also be hired at fixed government rates. Now operate
Helicopter Services for Yatris from Baltal and Srinagar during
the yatra period.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is Srinagar. There are daily flights to
Delhi and Jammu from Srinagar. On some days, special flights
are offered from Chandigarh and Amritsar to Srinagar. Nearest
International Airport is Delhi. Helicopter services are also
available from The pick up point is Baltal and it takes one
fro the pooja and darshan at Amarnath which takes almost an
hour and brings back the pilgrim to Baltal. Helicopters can be
takes from Pahalgam as well. However, the helicopter lands at
Panjtarni, which is 2 km from Amarnath and from there tourists
need to trek or take ponies to reach the temple.
Amarnath does not ahve its own railway station. Jammu is the
nearest Railway Station. It is connected with all major
railway stations in India.
Jammu and Srinagar are connected through road transport. Buses
and Taxis are also available from both places to entry point
to Amarnath trek to holy caves. The entry point is 363 km away
from Jammu through Pahalgam. From Pahalgam, it is about 50 km
to reach the Amarnath holy caves entry points