According to Hindu Mythology Amarnath is the famous shrine of Hindus located in Lidder valley. The 14000 ft high shrine is devoted to the trinity god, Shiva.
According to the Legend when Parvati questioned Lord Shiva about wearing garland of heads and his immortality, it was then Shiva described the secret of creation of Universe and the secrete to immortaliy to Parvati in Amarnath cave. The pair of doves listened in their conversation secretly and became Amar by taking birth again and again; they also made the cave their eternal abode.
Amarnath Cave has the phallic of Shiva that is formed naturally of an ice – stalagmite which grows in size during May to August and gradually wanes thereafter. The main ice Shivlinga is accompanied by two other ice bodies, one representing Parvati and another Ganesha.
Lakhs of Hindu pilgrims visit this popular pilgrimage place every year.
The Holy Yatra
The Jammu & Kashmir State Government organizes annual yatra to Holy Amarnath Cave in July and August (Hindu month Shravan), though the date varies each year and depends on the climate. The pilgrims are allowed to perform darshan of the holy cave and Shivalinga for a complete month from Ashard Purnimashi to Shravan Purnimashi.
Registration of pilgrims for yatra commences about a month ahead of the Yatra date. The prescribed form of registration has to be deposited at one of the following registration counters:
1. Assistant Director-Tourism, J&K Government (For residents of Delhi, U.P and Haryana). 201-203 Kanishka Shopping Complex, 19-Ashok Road New Delhi, Tel: 011-3345373. Address for registration- J&K Govt. Guest House Kutlly Marg Chankiyapuri New Delhi.
2. Deputy Director Tourism, J&K Govt. 26th North Wing ,World Trade Centre Cuffe Parade, Colaba Mumbai. Tel: 022-218804 (for residents of Maharshtra, Madhya Pradesh and Goa).
3. Tourist Officer, J&K Govt., 12 Chowringhee, Culcutta. (Tel 033-228591) (For residents of West Bangal, Orrisa, Bihar and North Eastern States).
4. Assistant Director Tourism, J&K Government, II-floor 36/36-A North Uma Road Chennai. Tel: 044-550551. For residents of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
5. Assistant Tourist Officer, J&k Govt., Airlines House, Lal Darwaza, Ahmadabad (Tel:077-5503551). For residents of Gujarat State) 6.Assistant Tourist Officer, J&K Govt. 5th Floor, Left Wing, Chandra Vihar Complex, M.J. Road, Hyderabad. Tel: 044-4734805 (For residents of Andra Pradesh and Karnataka)
7. Deputy Director, Tourism, J&K Govt, Tourist Reception Centre, Veer Marg Jammu. Tel: 0191-520432 (For residents of Jammu, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh)
8. Tourist Officer, J&K Govt, Enquiry & Reservations, Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar. Tel: 0194-479548, 452690 (For those applying directly to Head office)
Devotees religiously travel through the traditional rocky path of 42 km (26 mi) to the holy shrine on foot from Pahalgam. They reach shrine in 4-5 days. There is an alternate short route from Baltal. Ponnies are also available to carry elderly and children.
Eatables and water is available on Govt. Depots at Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panchtami at fair price. The numerous small tea stalls and restaurants are set up alongside the entire pathway. However, it is always a plus point for pilgrims to carry biscuits, toffees, tinned food etc. with them.
Medical posts are established enroute to the Amarnath cave which serve pilgrims free of cost.Use India Hill Station guide if you are visiting Amarnath as Hill Station. Amarnath Hill Stations