Amarnath Cave in the snowy Himalayan peaks is one of the most popular pilgrimage centers in India. This place happens to be an adobe of lord Shiva and it is therefore a large number of devotees head on to the shrine when the journey begins in summer months. Located at a soaring height of 14,000 feet, Amarnath is not easy to access. One needs to trek through arduous Himalayan paths and under inclement weather conditions to reach to this legendary place.
This temple is about 140km from Srinagar, on the northern end of Lidder Valley. Pahalgam is the base for trekking to the cave. Arrangements accommodation, meals and other medical facilities are available in Pahalgam. This small town itself is a popular hill station, with many captivating viewpoints and lovely natural vistas.
The first halt on the Yatra is Chandanwari, about 16kms from Pahalgam. Nowadays, small vehicles like mini buses, cabs are available to take pilgrims to Chandanwari. En route, the visitors can enjoy fascinating views of snowy mountains and shimmering Lidder River.
Pissu Top is the next stop and the first halt after the journey begins on feet. Trekking to this place is very tough and tiresome. So most of travelers take some rest at this place. However, it is just 4kms from Chandanwari. It is said that a war took place here between Gods and demons. With help of lord Shiva, the gods killed the demons in such a large number that the heap of their bodies resulted in a high mountain.
As the yatra proceeds further, devotees reach to a beautiful place known as Sheshnag Parvat. It is because of the seven peaks of the mountain, resembling the heads of the mythical snake. Besides, there is a beautiful lake and a glacier with heart-touching panorama and grace. It is where the serenity is omnipresent. You’ll see many campsites along the lake, where necessary arrangements for a night stay are available. Pilgrims take bath in the cave and start their journey next morning.
Again, the pilgrims will have to trek across the high Mahagunas Pass. It is the highest point of the region, at an elevation of 14,000 feet. The cold harsh winds and deficiency of oxygen are the other challenges for pilgrims at this place. Many pilgrims feel the nausea, headache and breathing problem here. It is therefore the devotees are advised to use dry fruits, sour and lemons to avoid such problems. Additionally, medical assistance is also available. This place is extremely beautiful, being full of many natural facets.
Before reaching to the Holy Amarnath Cave, devotees come across the sangam of Amaravati and Panjtarini River. The devotees take bath in the river before the darshan of iced shiva lingam in the cave. Inside the cave, there will be two other lingams pertaining to Goddess Parvati and lord Ganesha.
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The Traditional Route to reach Holy Amarnath Cave