Everything You Need to Know about Amarnath Yatra
The Amarnath Ji is one of the holy places as per various Hindu Granthas, and have a direct relation with Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati. Therefore, it is the place where you may feel the real divine power, and Spirituality, and you may also get the blessing of Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati both.
The holy Amarnath is present in J&K, at the distance of about 141 Km from Srinagar, and at an altitude of about 12,756 ft. The cave is around 130 ft high. Inside the cave, there is the holy Shiv linga made up of ice. The Ice-made Shiva Linga that you see there, forms and gets destroyed automatically as per the Lunar cycle. Other than the main Shiv Linga, two other Lingams get formed there also, out of which one represents Devi Parvati, and the other represents Lord Ganesha.
Importance of Amarnath Yatra
Amarnath Ji has the great historical and religious importance that belongs to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati directly, and therefore, you should feel proud by visiting and offering the pooja there. Devotees believe that, through the holy Amarnath Yatra, you may get rid of all your sins, and you may also get the path to Moksha there. It is one of those places where you feel the real spirituality and peace of mind. Even the great scholar Swami Vivekananda has mentioned his amazing feelings about the Amarnath Yatra, and how so great and peace of mind he felt there. About Amarnath, it is mentioned in Shiv Purana that visiting the Amarnath for even one time gives you the same result as 10 times doing the pooja in Kashi, 100 times doing the pooja in Prayag, and thousand times doing the pooja in Naimisharanya temple.
Story Behind Amarnath
According to various Hindu holy books that are written on Lord Shiva, once Mata Parvati insisted Shiva, to narrate the holy Amar Katha that gives the power of immortality. Shiv Ji could not reject her request and therefore, started looking for the place where none other than Devi Paravati may know that holy Katha. It is said about the holy Amar Katha that one who listens it may never die and gets freedom from all the pain. Lord Shiva was familiar with the fact that if any other living being somehow came to know this secret story, then there may cause an imbalance in the universe. Therefore, he started looking for a lonely place where none other than Devi Parvati may come to know the holy secret. After recognizing a lonely cave in J&K, he took Devi Parvati there so as to narrate the Amar Katha to her.
He narrated that holy Katha there, and from that time right then, this place became highly famous by the name holy Amarnath. As per belief, before narrating the Amar Katha to Devi Parvati, Shiva created a diety Kaalagni and ordered him to push away all other creatures from in and around the cave, with his Kaal Taap, and Kaal Aag. Kaalagni did the same, but at the time, there were two eggs under one of the thighs of Mahadev, and you know, no one can harm those whose protector is Shiva himself, and therefore, Kaalagni could not harm them at all. Therefore, it is famous that "Akaal Mrtiyu wo Marey jo kaam karey Chandaal ka, Kaal bhi uska kya bigaade jo Bhakt ho Mahakaal ka". Out of those two eggs, two pigeons were born, and they got the immortality right from their birth. it is believed that you may see them still at present. Also, it is said that while visiting the Amarnath along with Devi Parvati, Lord Shiva started leaving all his belongings at the various places on the way to the Amarnath. He left Nandi Bhagwan at Pahalgam, his snake at the bank of Lake Seshnaag, his moon at Chandanbadi, his son Ganesha at Mahagunas Parvat, and the five elements of life (Earth, Fire, Water, Air & Sky) at Panchtarni. If you are visiting the holy Amarnath, it is highly important to have the visit to these holy attractions too.
Where is Amarnath, and how it looks like?
The holy Amarnath is present in J&K, at the distance of about 141 Km from Srinagar, and at an altitude of about 12,756 ft. The cave is around 130 ft high. Inside the cave, there is the holy Shiv linga made up of ice.
Since the weather at Amarnath is uncertain, and sometimes life-threatening too, and therefore, you must know that when to visit this holy place, and when to avoid.
Weather at Amarnath, and the best time to visit Amarnath.
You may visit the holy Amarnath anytime between May to September. During these months, the temperature ranges between 9 to 34 degrees Celcius. During these months, you may feel the pleasant weather there, and, therefore, you may enjoy the divine attraction and beauty of Amarnath, and nearby places. Usually, the holy Amarnath Yatra takes place between July to August.
Between October to Feb, this place faces the breath-taking cold climate as the temperature gets lower to -8 degrees Celcius or even less. During these months, heavy snowfall jams the path of Amarnath, at various locations. Also, there is a high probability of facing natural disasters such as snow-floods and various others, during these months.
Since the months of March and April arrive just after the end of the winter season, therefore, during these two months, there is the highest probability of facing landslides and snow-flood. Therefore, you should avoid visiting this holy place in these months too.
How to get to the Amarnath
There are basically two routes to get to the Amarnath. You may choose to reach there either via Pahalgam or via Baltal.Baltal Route
If you are choosing the Baltal route, you may arrive at Srinagar Airport or the Jammu railway station. After arriving, you have to reach Baltal, and from there Amarnath is just 16Km away. However, it's the shortest trekking route to get to the Amarnath, and you may like going through it if you love doing trekking, and other adventurous activities. The route is full of so many challenges, and therefore, you should choose the route only if you are confident enough.
If you arrived at the Jammu Railway Station, you will have to reach Srinagar first to take-on the Srinagar-Baltal-Amarnath route. From Jammu Railway station, Srinagar is around 267 Km to 270 Km away, and it may take around 9 to11 hrs by Taxi and Bus, and an hour and a half by flight, to get there.
After that, the step-wise path that you should follow if taking the Srinagar-Baltal route is as mentioned below. Distance and time must be there (By road and by walk).
1.Srinagar to Baltal: - Baltal is around 93 Km away from Srinagar, and it may take you something around 3 hrs to 4 hrs maximum, by taxi, depending upon traffic conditions. There is no direct flight, bus, or any other public transport, and therefore, you will have to hire the taxi.
2.Baltal to Domel: - Domel is around 2.75 Km from Baltal, and it may take you around an hr and a half to 2 hrs on foot, to get there.
3.Domel to Brarimarg: - Bararimarg is around 6 Km away from Domel, and may take you just around 3hrs to 4 hrs on foot, to get there.
4.Brarimarg to Amarnath Cave: - The holy Amarnath cave is around 6Km away from Bararimarg, and it may take you around 2 to 3 hrs on foot, to get there.
In total (from Srinagar), it may take you around 9 hrs and a half to 13 hrs to reach Amarnath via the Srinagar-Baltal-Domel route.
You may also follow the step-wise route as given below
1.Srinagar to Baltal: - To get to Baltal, it may take you 3hrs to 4 hrs by Taxi.
2.Baltal to Panchtarni: - After reaching Baltal, you may take the flight to get to Panchtarni. Neelgarth helipad is the nearest one to take on the flight.
3.Panchtarni to Amarnath: - Panchtarni to Amarnath is around 6 Km distance, and that may take you 2 to 3 hrs on foot, to get to Amarnath Ji
Amarnath via Panchtarni.
In total (from Srinagar), through this route, it may take you around 6 to 8 hrs to get to the holy Amarnath cave.Pahalgam Route
Now, if you are choosing the Phalagam route, you may arrive at Jammu. From Jammu, you should follow the stepwise path as mentioned below.
1.Jammu to Khanabal: - Khanbal is around 213 Km to 220 Km away from Jammu, and it may take you around 6 to 7 hrs to there from Jammu.
2.Khanabal to Pahalgam: - From Khanbal, Pahalgam is at the distance of around 45 Km, and it may take you an hour and a half to 2 hrs, to get to Pahalgam by taxi. Since there is no public transport available there, from Khanbal to Pahalgam, therefore, you will have to hire a taxi.
3.Pahalgam to Chandanwari: - Chandanwari is at a distance of around 15 Km to 16 Km from Pahalgam, and that may take you around 30 to 40 Mins to get there.
4.Chandanwari to Seshnag lake: - From Chandanwari, Seshnag lake is at the distance of around 14 km, and it may take you around 5 to 7 hrs to get there, on foot.
5.Seshnag lake to Panchtarni: - From Seshnag Lake, Panchtarni is at the distance of around 17 to 18 Km, and it may take you around 6 to 8 hrs to get there, on foot.
6.Panchtarni to Amarnath cave: - From Panchtarni, Amarnath is at the distance of around 6Km, and you may get there in 2 to 3 hrs, on foot.
In total, it may take you 21 to 27 hrs to get to the Amarnath Cave via Jammu-Pahalgam – Amarnath route.