What Is the Story Behind Amarnath Yatra?
Shri Amarnath Cave is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is regarded as one of the holiest shrines for the Hindus. This cave is located at 3888 m above sea level in Jammu and Kashmir. Every Year thousands of devotees undertake the Amarnath yatra which is organized by Shri AmarnathJi Shrine Board. Formed by the melting of ice from the roof of the cave to the floor, Amarnath Cave contains Shivling which people from across the country visit to seek blessings from Lord Shiva.
As per Hindu legend, Amarnath Temple is the sacred place that Lord Shiva chose to reveal the secrets of immortality and formation of the universe to his beloved wife Parvati. Shiva followers take Amarnath Yatra with true feelings and present to Lord Shiva in the hope of righteous living, health, prosperity, and purity of sins.
When Amarnath Yatra Starts in 2023?
Amarnath Yatra 2023 will commence on 1st July and end on 31st August due to Sawan Purnima. There are 2 routes you can choose to go-Pahalgam and Baltal.
Best Routes to Reach the Amarnath Caves
Baltal to Amarnath Caves
Amarnath Baltal route starts from Baltal to Domali, around a 2km distance. From there another 6 km trek to Barari and then 4 km to reach Sangam. From here you have to cover only 2 km to reach the Holy Shrine. So the total distance is 14 km.
Although the distance is shorter the trek is steeper and it takes physical strength and energy to travel. Pilgrims cover the trip in 1-2 days. The weather conditions and regional terrain are not suitable for elderly citizens. The entire journey is by trek. You can either walk or opt for Dandies
Pahalgam to Amarnath Caves
Amarnath yatra from Pahalgam starts from the base camp at Pahalgam to Chandanwari. This distance is around 16 km. Then from Chandanwari a 13 km trek to Sheshnag and a 4.6 km trek to Panchtrani.From here a 2 km walk will take you to Lord Shiva’s abode.
This is the adventurous and popular route among devotees. Pilgrims cover the trip in 3-5 days. Here you can hire a pony to reach the caves.
Amarnath Helicopter Routes
Batlal -Panchtarni -Baltal route -2km trek to Holy Cave from Panchtarni
Pahalgam-Panchtarni-Pahalgam route-6 km trek to Holy Cave from Panchtarni
Those who wish to visit Amarnath Caves by saving time and energy opt for helicopter rides.
Amarnath Yatra by helicopter is a great experience in itself. As you fly through the rugged Himalayan landscape to Holy Shrine you will be engulfed by the spiritual aura. The journey will give you a glimpse of the entire Amarnath which is truly divine.
Facilities for The Yatris
A community Kitchen called Bhandaras managed by charitable organizations provides free food and tea services to the yatris on the route of the pilgrimage.
Emergency aid centers and base hospitals are set up along the routes.
Cloakrooms are provided to safeguard your belongings by SASB at Batlal, Nunwan, and Amarnath Cave.
Accommodation for an overnight stay or rental tents is provided by various organizations.
Things to Do During Amarnath Yatra
River Rafting in Pahalgam
At Pahalgam, tourists can take part in the adventure sport of river rafting for some thrill. You can register for grades ranging from low to moderate difficulty. The professional guides will take you through the journey. The cold water hitting your body while you drift by the waves in the flowing river makes it a memorable experience.
Pahalgam Golf Course
Pahalgam offers a lot for golf lovers. The nine-hole golf course is situated 2400 meters above sea level. It’s a plateau with a club at one side serving refreshments to the visitors. Play well and enjoy the sport in this enchanting region
Shopping in Pahalgam
Tourists can explore the shops at Pahalgam. The main market sells beautiful Kashmiri handicrafts, carpets, and wicker-works. The world-famous Kashmiri pashmina shawl is something you should carry back home.
Jammu and Kashmir is fondly called the Paradise on Earth. This region is covered by snow-clad mountains, beautiful valleys, soothing rivers, vibrant forests, and extensive plateaus.
Places to See During Amarnath Yatra
Tarsar Lake is an almond-shaped, holographic alpine lake located at Aru Valley and a favorite among trekkers. The lakeside offers views of towering snowy peaks. The place is quiet that soothes the mind.
Kokernag Botanical Garden sprawls across an area of 26 hectares. This garden has well-preserved collections of exotic flora. They also offer modern features like live garden seats, Japanese arched bridges over streams and artificial ponds. One can enjoy strolling and viewing the ornamental trees and plants of the region.
Baltal Wildlife Sanctuary sprawls around 0.300 sq km. It is a natural habitat for scores of exotic Himalayan wild animals. The sanctuary is a treat for wildlife enthusiasts.
Kolahoi Glacier is 26 km away from Pahalgam and is considered holy by locals. They call it the Goddess of Light’.The glacier is the perennial water source for the Lidder River and Jhelum River. The glacier lies at the base of Kolahoi Peak.
Amarnath Yatra is a pilgrimage that has to be experienced once in a lifetime at least. Spirituals, nature lovers, and adventure enthusiasts throng the place as it offers a plethora of experiences. Trekkers joyfully take up labyrinth paths and chant Har Har Mahadev’ and’ Bum Bum Bhole’ as they witness the soul thriving in the snowclad regions. Make sure to seek the blessings of Baba Amarnath through this holistic journey.