Amarnath Tourism–Holy cave of Lord Shiva
Amarnath, situated in Jammu and Kashmir is among the crucial pilgrimages in India for the followers of Lord Shiva. The Amarnath cave has a Shivling that forms on its own with ice and resembles Shiv Linga.
Amarnath is visited by thousands of tourists each year from different parts of the world for a tough mountainous trek called 'Amarnath Yatra'. As per the legend, this place is considered to be the same cave where Lord Shiva gave the revelation of the life secret and eternity to Goddess Parvati.
You can access Amarnath cave only during the months of July-August. There are two paths available to go for the Amarnath Yatra - via Baltal or Pahalgam. The Baltal route, although shorter, is tough due to high steeps. The Pahalgam route is long but many devotees prefer this route due to less danger. It generally takes 3-5 days to get to Amarnath from the initial point. Helicopter services are also available now on both these paths. The devotees are required to make bookings in advance. They have to register to undertake the holy yatra to Amarnath. You can come here through Kashmir religious trip packages.
You cannot visit Amarnath except in the months of July and August because the entire region is engulfed by snow.
You can have the darshan of the ice Shiva Lingam and take the blessings.
Road:-Motors do not go to Amarnath. There is no motor road created yet. You can reach the base camp via road from Pahalgam.
Train:-Train service is not available for Amarnath yet.
By air:- Helicopter service is available for the base camps for both the routes that go to Amarnath.
For the registration of the Amarnath yatra, each yatri needs to submit an application form as well as a compulsory health certificate (CHC) apart from the necessary documents to get the yatra permit. You can download the form online.
These forms are also available cost-free at the registration branch of the bank. You can check the approved bank list.
Since 2014, the SASB has started a 'group registration scheme' for yatris who intend to travel with friends, family, or neighbors. Registration details for NRIs/ex-yatri are available here. www.shriamarnathjishrine.com
Camps with huts are available for night stay at Baltal, Nunwan, Sheshnag, and Panjtarni. The cost is almost INR 250-375 per night.
Situated in Jammu and Kashmir, the Amarnath Cave is a Hindu Shrine and is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. It is situated at an altitude of 3,888 m. The Amarnath is on the list of the most popular Hindu Shrines. Devotees go on the pilgrimage to the cave in summer, as it is open, as they cross a tough mountain path to reach the ice stalagmite naturally made inside the cave. You can come here through the Kashmir tour package.
The shrine of Lord Shiva is 5000 years old. It holds a premier place in Hindu Mythology. Inside it, you have the ice stalagmite resembling Lord Shiva and waxes in the months of May to August. The water seeps into the rocks and wanes after that. It is said to be the place where Lord Shiva told his consort Goddess Parvati about the hidden secrets of life and eternity.
There are two other ice formations representing Goddess Parvati as well as Lord Shiva's son Lord Ganesh. People visit here in the Shravani Mela which is a 45-day season from July-August. It takes five days for the pilgrims to get to the destination on foot. You can come here through the Jammu and Kashmir religious trips.
Set at an elevation of 2743 m, Baltal is a halt destination for all the Amarnath Cave pilgrims. At 14 km from Amarnath, this place acts as the commencing camp for pilgrims with arrangements of pitch tents for spending the night.
Other than this, Baltal is also known for its mesmerizing and picturesque environment. It has proximity to well-known towns like Srinagar, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg.