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City: N/A State: N/A Country: India
Amarnath Cave/Temple is located in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley in the Great Himalayan Range. Amarnath is regarded as one of most important Hindu Dhams (Pilgrimages). Lord Shiva, the destroyer, is present in the form of ice Lingam in this cave. This lingam is made naturally of a stalagmite of ice which awakes and weakens with the moon.According to Hindu mythology, this is the cave where Lord Shiva told about the secret of Life and eternity to his wife Parvati and hence this shrine holds a very special value to the Hindus. The cave is situated at an height of 3888 m\12750 FT. The area is under the control of the Indian Army due to terrorism threats and hence prior permission is needed from the government before making the pilgrimage. Devotees generally take the 45 km pilgrimage on foot from town of Pahalgam and cover the journey in 4 to 5 days. There are two alternate routes to the temple, one the more traditional and the longer path from Srinagar and the other a shorter route from the town of Baltal. The origin of Amarnath Yatra dates back to the year 1850 A.D, when a Muslim shepherd from Batakot, named Buta Malik(a muslim) first discovered the cave in which lay enshrined the naturally formed Shivling made of ice. According to tale, Buta Malik was given a sack of coal by a Sadhu(saint). Upon reaching his home he discovered that the sack, in fact, contained gold. Overjoyed and overcome, Buta Malik rushed back to look for the Sadhu(saint) and thank him, but on the spot of their meeting discovered the cave and eventually this became a place of pilgrimage for all believers. Myths Shiva recounted to Parvati(Lord’s Wife) the secret of creation in a cave in Amarnath. Unknown to them, a pair of mating doves eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the doves-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam.
Climate | When to Visit
Since the temple is located at high mountains it is inaccessible in winter due to heavy snow and ope
Visit during: June to August
Directions | How to Reach
The closest one can get to the temple by road is upto Pahalham,which is ~100 Km from Srinagar which is the capital of J&K. Srinagar further is well connected by road and air to rest of the country. Rail link is only available upto Jammu,from where one can take a air ride to Srinagar. One can even avail the helicopter service which connects Srinagar and Baltal to the Amarnath cave and costs between 10,000 INR TO 15,000 INR (www.amarnathhelicoptertrip.com),