Among the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites, the Amarnath Yatra is considered a highly revered one. Most Hindus, particularly those who are worshippers of Lord Shiva, wish to undertake a journey to the Amarnath Shrine at least once in a lifetime.
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This is because of the appearance of a natural ice Shiva Lingam in the cave, which is considered an annual sacred phenomenon. However, it is much more than just a simple trek to visit a temple. Here’s a look at what the famed Amarnath Yatra entails, and what you can expect from it:
When And Where Is The Yatra Held?
अमरनाथ यात्रा 2018, jammu and kashmir, baba barfani
The Amarnath Cave is located in the Himalayas in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, approximately 140km from the capital Srinagar. The annual yatra (journey) takes place in the Shravan month according to the Hindu calendar, which falls somewhere in June-August. Since the cave and its surrounding areas remain covered in snow most of the year, this is the only time when devotees can access the shrine – hence the massive crowds that flock here for the yatra.
It is said that the ice Lingam that forms in the cave shrinks and grows as per the changes in the lunar cycle. In 2017, the Amarnath Yatra is from June 29 to August 7. Usually, the yatra spans a period of 45 days.
The Amarnath Yatra Route
At present, there are two routes that pilgrims can take to reach the Amarnath Cave. But whichever you choose, remember that the trek will take you to a height of more than 14,000 feet. Hence, being physically fit and mentally prepared for the journey is a must.
Pahalgam Route: Pahalgam is the traditional route for the yatra, and it comprises a trek of 36-48 km. You can complete this on foot or choose to ride on a pony, and the journey usually takes 3-5 days one way. Although this is the wider route of the two, it can get crowded with ponies, palanquins (dolis), and devotees since it is still preferred by most people.
For this route, you will travel through Chandanwari, which is the checkpoint where yatris need to furnish their permits and documents. Pissu Top, Sheshnag, and Panchtarni are the other places on the way.
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