Amarnath Yatra | Amarnath Temple
Located in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and situated on Mount Amarnath, the Amarnath caves are one of the most famous shrines in Hinduism. Dedicated to the god Shiva, the shrine is said to be over 5,000 years old. The shrine forms an important part of Hinduism.
Inside the main Amarnath cave lies an ice stalagmite resembling the Shiva Linga, which waxes during May to August and gradually wanes thereafter. This lingam is said to grow and shrink with the phases of the moon, reaching its height during the summer festival. According to Hindu mythology, this is the cave where Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his divine consort Parvati. Two other ice formations represent Parvati and Shiva's son, Ganesha.
The cave is situated at an altitude of 3,888 m (12,756 ft),about 141 km (88 mi) from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir. The Central Reserve Police Force, Indian Army and Indian Paramilitary Forces maintain a strong presence in the region due to security concerns.
The temple is a popular yatra destination for Hindus – about 400,000 people visit during the 45-day season around the festival of Shravani Mela in July–August, coinciding with the Hindu holy month of Shraavana.
The beginning of the annual pilgrimage, called Amarnath Yatra, to the Himalayan cave shrine is marked by 'pratham pujan' to invoke the blessings of Shri Amarnathji.
Devotees generally take the 42 km (26 mi) pilgrimage on foot from the town of Pahalgam, about 96 km (60 mi) from Srinagar, and cover the journey in four to five days. There are two alternate routes to the temple: the longer and more traditional path from Srinagar, and the shorter route from the town of Baltal. Some devotees, particularly the elderly, also ride on horse-back to make the journey. Those who so wish and have the money can now make the journey by helicopter.
Climate of Amarnath:
The climatic conditions are very uncertain. Rain or snowfall may take place at any time or place during the Yatra. It is to be particularly noted that abrupt changes in temperature might occur. Sunny weather may turn into rain / snow fall in a short time. The temperature may fall upto -5 degree C .
Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter:
Arrival and pickup at Srinagar Airport / City. Drive to Baltal, time permitting spend some time at Sonmarg the meadow of gold and explore environs therein. Reach Baltal and check into Sri Amarnathji Shrine Board Huts for an overnight stay. Dinner and Prasad at nearby Yatra Langars.
After early morning wake up call, proceed to the helipad (5 to 10 minutes walk from the huts), to take a Helicopter ride to the Holy Cave for Pooja and Darshan (time 1 to 1.5 hours). Return to the helipad after your Darshan and fly back to Baltal. Pickup from Baltal and drive to Srinagar, enroute visit Khirbhawani Temple (time permitting). Reach Srinagar and check in to a Deluxe Houseboat/ Hotel for an overnight stay.
Transfer to the Airport/City for your onward journey.
How to Perform Pilgrimage:
For performing this Yatra, one is required to get registered . The registration is done by J &K Govt. Tourist Offices, located at Delhi,Mumbai,Calcutta,Chennai, Ahmedabad,Hyderabad,Jammu and Srinagar.
Bhole Bhandari Charitable Trust provides tented accommodation &Community Kitchen (Langar) to the pilgrims TOTALLY FREE OF COST. This year this service will be made available at Panchtarni .
How to Reach:
The nearest aerodrome is Srinagar. Srinagar is a beautiful valley having world famous sights to see, such as Dal Lake, Nagina Lake, Shankaracharya Temple, Mughal Gardens and what not. It is the most sought after tourist place. It is also known as "Paradise on earth". Srinagar is summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir. There are daily flights to Srinagar from Delhi and Jammu. On some week days flights also pickup passengers from Chandigarh and Amritsar.
Jammu is the nearest Railway Station . Jammu is winter Capital of Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu is a beautiful city and is also known as "CITY OF TEMPLES". One may visit old temples such as Raghunath Temple , Mahadev Mandir and other temples . It is well connected with all stations of India.The various trains coming to Jammu are listed here below.
Jammu and Srinagar are also connected through road. Buses and Taxies are also available for this part of the journey .These can be hired on daily as well as full tour basis.