Amarnath Yatra..





















AMARNATH 

Amarnath cave(known as holy cave ) is a Hindu shrine located in Jammu and Kashmir, India. The cave is situated at an altitude of 3900 m (12,800 ft),about 140 km (88 mi) from Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir and reached through Pahalgam town.

It is an important part of India Tourism,and is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism. The cave is surrounded by the Himalays. The cave itself is covered with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims. 

Thousands in numbers of Hindu devotee make their way to the Amarnath cave across challenging mountainous terrain ,slippery dangerous roads ,ice which is called as Amarnath Yatra

The Ice Linga inside the Holy Cave

Inside the cave,which is 40 m (130 ft) high , a stalagmite is formed naturally due to freezing of water drops that fall from the roof of the cave on to the floor and grows up vertically from the cave floor. 

The Linga is created naturally during May to August, as snow melts in the Himalayas above the cave and the resultant water falls into the rocks that form the cave.

It is considered to be a Shiva Linga by Hindus. 
As per religious beliefs, it has been claimed that the linga grows and shrinks with the phases of the moon reaching its height during the summer festival, although there is no scientific evidence for this belief. According to a Hindu religious beliefs, this is the place where Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his divine consort, Parvati.

AMARNATH YATRA

Amarnath yatra is the most important pilgrimage in Hinduism, such that each man has desire of darshan of Amarnath Bhagwan once in his lifetime. This religious Yatra is organized every year to the great Himalayas, by the government of Jammu and Kashmir. The Amarnath tour is attended by thousands of domestic and international devotees.

How to Reach

One can reach to Holy cave by 2 routes either Baltal or Pahalgam.

The nearest station is Jammu. From Jammu there are accomodations of Govt. Buses to reach either Baltal or Pahalgam.

Bhagawti Nagar Yatri Niwas (Jammu) - Pahalgam - 240 KM 
Bhagawti Nagar Yatri Niwas (Jammu) - Balthal - 350 KM

Distance between Jammu to Baltal is about 350 km and there is/are nearly 1 direct bus(es)  between Jammu to Baltal.These bus(es) is/are State Transport Bus etc. The minimum time a bus takes to reach Baltal from Jammu is 9 to 10 hours.

There are no direct flights or trains or buses between New Delhi to Baltal.The convenient and fastest way to reach from New Delhi to Baltal is to take IndiGo/bolero/personal vehicle from New Delhi to Srinagar then take a taxi from Srinagar to Baltal.The cheapest way to reach Baltal from New Delhi is to take train with train ...

From Baltal, it is a 1-2 day trek (15 km) to reach Amarnath Cave. However, the Pahalgam route is relatively longer and takes around 2-3 days (36-48 km).The longer Amarnath yatra route via Pahalgam is generally preferred by most of the devotees. The length of the trek varies from 36 to 48 km depending upon the devotion of the pilgrim. The trek usually takes 2-3 days one way and this route is much wider than the Baltal trek and slopes gradually.

A visit to the Amarnath cave on horseback /sawari/palki can cost anywhere between R 2000 to R 5,000 rupees per person. The government has prescribed rupees for a round trip on the longer Pahalgam route. But that's can be minimized, and it all depends on the pony wallah.


my last year amarnath yatra picture with my family.(pahalgam entrance)

Yatra

The peak pilgrimage occurs in the summer months.The July-August popular annual Hindu pilgrimage, undertaken by up to 600,000 or more pilgrims to the Amarnath cave shrine of iced Shiv linga at 12,756 feet (3,888 m) in the Himalayas, is called Amarnath Yatra .It concludes on the festival of Raksha Bandhan. It begins with a 43 kilometres (27 mi) mountainous trek from the Nunwan and Chandanwari base camps at Pahalgam and reaches cave-shrine after night halts at Sheshnag Lake and Panchtarni camps.

Previous year's figure of pilgrims visiting the shrine is the the lowest in the past 14 years. Last year, only 2.20 lakh pilgrims had visited the cave shrine due to the summer unrest.The yatra had commenced from Pahalgam and Baltal routes amid strict security arrangements on 29 June due to terrorist attact in Anantnag disrict.

Route

Devotees travel on foot, either from Balthal or from Pahalgam. "The latter journey takes approximately 4-6 days two ways".

The State Road Transport Corporation and Private Transport Operators provide the regular services from Jammu to Pahalgam and Baltal. Also privately hired taxis are available from Jammu & Kashmir.

The shorter northern route is just about 16 km long, but has a very steep gradient and is quite difficult to climb. It starts from Baltal and passes through Domel, Barari, and Sangam to reach the cave. The northern route is along the Amarnath valley and all along the route one can see the river Amaravati (a tributary of Chenab) which originates from Amarnath Glacier.

It is believed that Lord Shiva left Nandi, the bull, at Pahalgam (Bail Gaon). At Chandanwari, he released the Moon from his hair (Jata). On the banks of Lake Sheshnag, he released his snakes. At Mahagunas Parvat (Mahaganesh Mountain), he left his son Lord Ganesha. At Panjtarni, Lord Shiva left behind the five elements - Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Sky. As a symbol of sacrificing the earthly world, Lord Shiva performed the Tandava Dance. Then, finally, Lord Shiva entered the Holy Amarnath Cave along with Mata Parvati.

















































Picture of seshnag lake and camps of my last year yatra.


Facilities

En route the cave, various non-profit organizations have set up food supply and resting tents called pandals which are available for free to the pilgrims. Near the shrine, hundreds of tents which are erected by locals can be hired for a night's stay. Helicopter services from base camp to Panjtarni (6 km from the cave) are also available from various private operators.

Security




















Picture taken by me last year (2017)

Every year, thousands of central armed forces and state police personnel are deployed to provide security to pilgrims from potential terror threats. The forces position at various halts and also in the perimeter of the shrine.

Organisers

Officially, the Yatra is organised by the government in collaboration with the Shree Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). Various agencies provide necessary facilities all along the route during the Yatra period, which includes provision of ponies, supply of power, telecommunication facilities, firewood and setting up of fair price shops.




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