The annual Yatra for Amarnath begins in Shravan month when the ice on Himalayas begins to melt down. It is organized by Jammu & Kashmir Government, and is opted by thousands of pilgrims annually. Striding through an exceptionally enchanting route, devotees on this resplendent pilgrimage meet the shining glory of Lord Shiva. They feel the presence of the almighty at almost every step this journey consists of. Breathtaking beauty of Himalaya and syncretic and inclusive Hindu culture are added delights the pilgrims can explore.
Due to the rich history & legends attached with it, the Amarnath Yatra is very popular among Hindus. Although the routes to the cave are very arduous and climatic conditions are not favorable either, thousands of devotees walk upon this path. It is because of the faith that people have in the immortal deity lord Shiva. Besides of Shiva and Parvati who first trekked to the cave, countless of great sages and scholars including Adi shankaracharya and Swami Vivekanand Have undertook the pilgrim¬age to Amarnath. They all have said a lot about the beauty and grace of this pilgrimage.
The journey begins from Pahalgam and walks along with the playful stream of Lidder River till Chandanwari which is nestled on the concourse of the Asthan Marg and Seshnag River. After that, a steep ascent of 3km takes pilgrims to the Pissu Ghati at an altitude of 10,403 ft. This is perhaps the toughest part of Yatra after it begins on feet. The Yatris must have a walking stick along with good physical fitness to come cover this 3km distance.
After Pissu Ghat, it begins formidable climb towards Sheshnag and then Mahagun Parvat: the highest point on the journey. Panchtarini is the last stop for yatris, which is about 6km before the holy Amarnath cave. From Panchtarini to Amarnath cave is a narrow spiraling trek. So the pilgrims are advised to be extra careful when covering this trek.
Where to stay?
Don’t expect hotels or resorts on the way, and all that you can find are the tented accommodations for the night halts. The charges are around INR 100 per night; however you can bargain for a complete cost for your group. They are available majorly at Nun¬wan (Pahalgam), Seshnag and Panch¬tarni. You’ll be provided with Quilts, pillows, mattresses and lanterns. Toilets are available at the campsites, but most of the yatris manage in open.
Like accommodation, dining is also offered in available langers en route. On the way to Amarnath, you can see a number of langars established by Shiva sevak mandals simitis where food along with basic medication and accommodation is provided to the pilgrims. Quality of food is reasonable and so is the cost. Pilgrims are advised to carry some dry fruits, biscuits and other edibles when going on the Yatra.
Alternatively, Amarnath Yatra packages are offered by some reliable travel companies which include all needed travel facilities for a hassle-free Maratha Yatra.
Know About the Holy Pilgrimage to Amarnath Cave