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 Shri Amarnath Yatra

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 after year.
 

Amarnath Yatra Route
Via Pahalgam

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 moon.

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

 

Baltal
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
By Air

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.

By Train

Amarnath does not ahve its own railway station. Jammu is the nearest Railway Station. It is connected with all major railway stations in India.

By Road

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

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