Amarnath Yatra in India
Where is Amarnath?
Amarnath Yatra: Amarnath is located at a distance of 145 km east Srinagar in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It stands in a glacial valley at an elevation of 4,175 m.
How will you gain Access?
There are daily flights operated by Indian Airlines connecting Srinagar to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, and Leh. There are various express trains from Delhi to Jammu. The Shalimar Express leaves Delhi at 14-10 hours and arrives in Jammu at 07-00 hours. There are direct trains from Jammu to cities of Mumbai and Kolkata. Bus services are also available.
What does it signify?
Amarnath is a highly revered destination for the Hindus. There is an ice Linga here that changes size depending on the seasons. On the Full Moon Day, the Linga measures 6 feet in height. Every year during the months of July/ August, thousands of Hindus from all across the globe pay a visit to the Amarnath Caves.
Bhole Shankar chose the very cave to narrate the secrets of immortality and creation of the Universe to Maa Parvati. At first, Shiva was reluctant to tell the secrets, but finally, he agreed to tell as Maa Parvati insisted. Shiva began looking for a place where no one could overhear the immortal secrets that he was going to disclose to Parvati. And he chose the Amarnath Cave. In his preparation, he left his bull Nandi at Pahalgam, Moon from his hair at Chandawari, and the snakes on the banks of Lake Sheshnag. He left his son Ganesha at Mahagunas Parvat (Mahaganesh Hill). At Panjtarni, he left the five elements namely Earth, Water, Fire, and Sky that constitute the living beings. After leaving behind all these worldly possessions he along with Parvati entered the Holy Amarnath Cave. He made sure that no one was around. He created Kalagni to spread fire all round so that no one was able to hear the immortal truth. Now he started narrating the secret. However, there remained protected an egg that lay beneath a deerskin. It is believed that the pair of pigeons that were born out of the egg became immortal having known the secret of being immortal. Even today numerous pilgrims report seeing the pair of pigeons as they trek along the toilsome route to pay their tributes to the Ice Lingam.
When is the Yatra organized?
The Amarnath Yatra is organized every year during the months of July and August. Jammu and Kashmir Government announces the dates taking into account the weather conditions of the place.
The climatic conditions are very unpredictable. Rainfall and snow may occur at any time and at any place during the trip. There can also be abrupt changes in the temperature. In a short time, sunny weather can turn into rain and snowfall. The temperature may drop down to a minimum of 5 degrees in the negative.