Fast Facts :
Situated : 145km away from Srinagar,(Kashmir Region)
Height : 4,175m at (13700)
Season : July - August
Lord Shiva is considered to be the holy trinity. The Rig Veda, which is considered most ancient and most sacred book of India. The Rig Veda elicits the presence of Lord Shiva in the hymns. Rituals, astronomy and Vedic myths testify Lord Shiva’s presence.
The Cave :
The Yatra done on foot is considered to be holy according to Hindu faith and tradition. The Amarnath cave is to the extend of 130 feet and is shallow and high.
Inside the cave, there is a large opening, backside of an iron-gated fence,
This cone has much significance, as it is believed that this is the ling of Lord Shiva, manifestation of the phallus of Lord Shiva. On the full moon day of the Hindu (sawan) month, innumerable devotees visit this place walking from Pahalgam to witness this unbelievable magic of God and offers sweets, money, flowers and garlands.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva gave the Gods celestial nectar, which made them immortal, and he resided here on their request. The name Amarnath means immortal.
There are three components of the Shaiva literature of Kashmir Pratyabhijna Shastra, Agama Shashtra and Spanda Shashtra is a contemporary of the Kashmir king Jayasimha.
The biggest secret that is the secret of creation was disclosed by Lord Shiva to Goddess Parvati in a cave. There was a pair of pigeon inside which unknowingly heard their conversation and the secret was known to them .The doves are said to take rebirth from that time and still do. Many visitors have noticed this pair while trekking to the marvelous cave.
According to an old story there was a muslim boy named Buta Malik, a sadhu gave him a bag of coal.When he came back to his house he found out there was gold. He went back to thank that sadhu but instead of him there was a cave which has become a pilgrimage centre.
Another legend draws out that the lingam and Kashmiri valley was discovered by Rishi Bregeish, who was passing the Himalayas.
The Amarnath Yatra :
There are stages, which are controlled by the Indian Authorities.
Stage 1 :
Pahalgam - Chandanwadi :
The journey begins leaving pahalgam and passing the auspicious Shankar Temple and also passes by the east Liddar valley. The route is quite simple to follow and is likeable for the jeeps to pass to Chandanwadi-2900m.There are many shortcuts that you can follow and innumerable number of tea stalls for your refreshment purpose. The weather is quite hot accordingly to the J&k standards at the first stage .The camping area is pleasant and is slated just before the beginning of the tea stalls.
Chandanwadi - Sheshnag :
Approximate Walking Time : 5-6hrs
The steeply winds which blows to the Pisu Top (3,390m) comes from chandanwadi.From this place there is a security control which keeps a watch from the valley to the other mountains outside Pahalgam.The owners of the tea stalls do an enthralling business during this time and keep the visitors going till the next resting area which is at Wawajana-3550m.Now 2-3kms away is Sheshnag, the glacial lake. There is a mythology attached with this lake, it is said that there is a serpent of (Loch water monster) residing in this lake so it is recommended, that the camping should be avoided besides the lakes edges. However, the surrounding is enchanting as the water ponders the snow-clad peaks of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu.
Stage 2 :
Sheshnag - Panchtarni :
Approximate Walking Time : 6hrs
The journey gradually rises from Sheshnag and you can enjoy the amazing picturesque of the huge and beautiful mountains above. The rise towards the Mahagunas Pass ends to a sedgy plateau, and from the plateau, it’s a one hours climb. The altitude of the pass is 4270m.The downward journey to Panchtarni- 3450m is very tiring and long but there are bloomed meadows to take rest and look up to.The view of campsite can be spotted from far off. The Himalayan terrain looks just marvelous with just plain and treeless terrain, are also much cleaner.
Stage 3 :
Panchtarni - Amarnath Cave :
Approximate Walking Time : 5hrs
The factual time depends on the starting of the journey and it is highly advisable to start off the journey as early as possible.
The journey to the Singh Pass -3850m is quite easy and finally you enter the Amarnath valley. You find a snow bridge, which is permanently blackened which crosses Amarvati stream before entering the actual base of the mighty mountain. From this place you will find permanent concrete steps which takes you to the Amarnath Caves-4050m.The security forces allows only limited number of people to enter the cave at a time.
Stage 4 :
Panchtami - Chandanwadi :
Approximate walking Time : 8hrs
Many visitors’ returns to Chandanwadi within a day. Some of them go for trekking.
Stage 5 :
Chandanwadi - Pahalgam :
Approximate Walking Time : 4hrs
The final stage ends as the visitors comes back in the bazaar of pahalgam and from here, you can easily drive to Jammu or Srinagar in the same day.
Alternate Trek :
Sonamarg Amarnath :
There is another route from Sonamarg.
Day 1 :
Sonamarg to Baltal :
The trek from Sonamarg to Baltal takes about 15hrs and the journey is quite smooth. You can also get lifts from the passing trucks or can walk it up. The roadblock comes to life after noon as it is closed till then to give way to the traffic coming across Zoji la; Ladakh.The roadblock gives you the enchanting view of the river valley as you need to pass it via a track. This track is 2-3 km shorter for the vehicles to pass. The sight of the military camp is the indication of Baltai and can be reached one day from Srinagar.
Day 2 :
Baltai - Amarnath :
The trek to Amarnath is 15km and is 1000meters from Baltai (2743m) to the Amarnath Caves (4175m) and the walking period takes about 9 to 10 hrs.The journey includes a huge snow bridge, a bit of climbing and cutting across the Satsang pass which is three and a half kilometers and by walk it takes approximately 9-10hrs.The tea stalls are placed along the way to the cave.
You can follow the traditional trail to Pahalgam from Amarnath
Road : There is a veritable bus service from Baltal but only during the fixture of yatra.There are three buses to Srinagar a day from Sonamarg.The journey takes about 5 hours.
Things to Do and Not to Do for the Visitors :
Please assure that you are mentally and physically ready for the journey as it involves trekking and climbing high altitude (14000ft).You need get a fit certificate from the doctor and submit it to the registering authority.
It is always advised to carry ample amount of woolen clothes that includes trousers, thermal body warmers, monkey caps, sweaters and mufflers. Other things like raincoats, blankets, windcheaters, water proof shoes, torch, walking sticks, and waterproof tents. Ladies are recommended to avert sarees as the climbing will be a difficulty instead salwar kameez and pants are recommended.
Keep few eatables like sugar, chocolates, biscuits, dry fruits, lemons, pickles, honey, candies, tinned foods and milk powders handy .
Firewood and ration is readily available and can also be purchased.
Registered Dandy man, ponywalla and porter can be hired also for prefixed tariffs.
Ponies carrying your luggage see to it that they are in contact with you all the time.
Do follow the instructions of the government who are deployed there to help you.
Carry ample amount of money during the journey, as the accommodation service at Pahalgam is not free and also for other purpose.
Medical expenses during the journey is free .It is also advised to carry first aid kit and personal medical box in case of any emergency.
Alcohol is strictly banned here.
Avoid over staring on steep areas.
Avoid relaxing at places were warning signs are placed.
Traffic rules are not to be broke
Avoid paying more than the fixed price for the hired services.
Visitors without registry card, ailing, infirm, ill and aged person are not allowed beyond Baltal and Pahalgam.
It is always advisable to check out the conditions and residue for the journey.