It remains a cherished dream for any Hindu devotee to be a part of the sacred Amarnath Yatra for darshan of an iced Shiva langam that appears in the cave. The annually pilgrimage to the Lord Shiva's adobe is organized by Jammu & Kashmir government. It takes place in summer months, when the snow at this part of Himlaya melts down and the ways to Amarnath Cave become clear. The trekking to the cave begins from Pahalgam.
Amarnath Yatra is undeniably the most famous pilgrimage for Hindus. Despite of the hardship and sufferings that the journey features, an increasing number of devotees undertake the holy pilgrimage annually. The ancient cave of Amarnath, as per Hindu myths, is very revered for Hindus. It happens to be an adobe of Lord Shiva with his consort Parvati. Anyone who completes the journey gets salvation, according to Hindu scriptures.
The entire area nearby the cave is blanketed with snow most of the year. Winters here are extremely chilly, when snowfall is common and the temperature can go below freezing level. Due to bad weather and jaw-dropping altitude, the temple remains closed during winter months. Monsoon too is not the ideal time to visit Amarnath, as the rain turns the hilly road slippery.
The natural beauty en route leaves the pilgrims becharmed. The fascinating Sheshnag Lake, breathtaking views of mountains, shimmering Lidder River and plenty of waterfalls give the region an iconic status. Pahalgam, where the journey starts from, is a place of stunning natural facets. There are two major routes to trek to the holy cave of Amarnath. Traditional route begins from Pahalgam and features a distance of about 47kms.
Chandanwari is the first major halt after Pahalgam. However, vehicle facilities are available now to this place, reducing the trekking distance. From Chandanwari to Pissu top is 4kms and is perhaps the toughest trekking on the Yatra. After that, Sheshnag Lake (9kms) is the next stay, followed by Panchatarini (13kms) and Amarnath Cave (6kms). For those who find it unable to walk so long, there are facilities of ponies and porters. Also Amarnath packages by helicopter are also offered by many travel companies to ensure the pilgrims an easy and hassle-free travel.
The second route is via Balatal. It is shorter than the traditional route, just 15kms, but the trekking here very tough and through steep slopes. One can reach to the cave in one day by this route, and hence there is no considerable accommodation en route. Land Sliding is very common on this route. That's why a very few people opt for this trek. Remember that you phone might not work in this area, but there are many telephone bouts at the Baltal Base camp. Prior registration is mediatory for all devotees. A medical certificate and other necessary documents should make ready well in advance.
Amarnath Cave and Routes to It