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Legend of Amarnath - Amarnath Yatra

Updated: May 6, 2023

Amarnath Yatra is coming soon and you all must be eager to know more about Amarnath Yatra and its History. Well, your wait is over today I'm going to tell you everything about Holy Amarnath Yatra and Cave.

Amarnath Yatra is considered to be the most sacred pilgrimage in North India. A glimpse of India's diverse traditions, religions and cultures can be seen during the visit. Shiva devotees have to face a lot of difficulties in Amarnath Yatra. Of course, this journey is a bit difficult, but the captivating nature views of Jammu and Kashmir and the unique twist of religion and spirituality are associated with it. The roads are rough, sometimes snow starts falling on the way, sometimes it starts raining and sometimes icy winds start blowing. Yet the faith and devotion of the devotees are so strong that all these sufferings are not felt and Baba is pulled by an invisible force for the darshan of Amarnath. It is believed that if the pilgrims complete this journey with true devotion, they can have a direct darshan of Lord Shiva. Lakhs of devotees reach here for darshan from June to August.

Holy Cave of Amarnath
Holy Cave of Amarnath

Description: Amarnath Dham, located in the inaccessible plains of Jammu and Kashmir, holds great importance for Hindu devotees. Like Char Dham, devotees definitely wish to undertake this revered pilgrimage once in a lifetime.
Country: India
Followers: Hindu
God: Lord Shiva
Other information: The route from Pahalgam is considered easy and convenient for travel. Another short route is from Baltal located on the Srinagar-Leh highway. The distance from Baltal to Amarnath Cave is only 14 kilometres, but it is a very inaccessible road and is also questionable from the point of view of security.

Scholarly Opinion

Many scholars are of the opinion that when Shankar Ji was taking Parvati ji to narrate the immortal story, he left small infinity snakes in Anantnag, lowered the sandalwood from the forehead into the Chandan bari, and other fleas were on the flea top and Sheshnag around the neck. Left him at a place called Sheshnag. The Amarnath cave was first discovered by a Muslim shepherd in the first half of the sixteenth century. Even today, a quarter of the offerings are made to the descendants of Muslim shepherds. This is such a place of pilgrimage, where there are Muslims who sell flowers and garlands. Amarnath cave is not one, but many more small and big caves are seen while moving on the Amaravati river. All covered with snow. There are similarly separate icebergs of Ganesh, Bhairav ​​and Parvati away from the original Amarnath.

Amarnath Travel Routes and Stops

There are two routes to reach Amarnath-

  • The first one is Pahalgam

  • Second Sonmarg from Baltal

From Jammu or Srinagar, one has to reach Pahalgam or Baltal by bus or small vehicle. After that, you have to go further on foot. For the weak and old, there are arrangements for mules and horses. The road from Pahalgam is easy and convenient. Although the distance of the holy cave from Baltal is only 14 kilometres, it is a very inaccessible path with a straight climb, so it is not good from a security point of view, so it is not considered safe. Hence, most travellers are asked to leave from Pahalgam. However, lovers of adventure and playing with danger prefer to go this route. People travelling this route travel at their own risk. The government does not take responsibility for any untoward incident. Actually, Pahalgam is 96 km away from Srinagar. It is anyway the famous tourist destination of the country. The natural beauty here is made on sight. Lidder and Aru rivers add to its beauty.

Baltal - Sonamarg
Baltal - Sonamarg

Pahalgam's passenger base camp is built at Nunwan, six kilometres away. Devotees spend the first night here. On the second day, reach Chandanbari, 10 km from here. There is an ice bridge on this river ahead of Chandanbadi. This is where the climb to the Pissa Valley begins. It is said that there was a fierce battle between the gods and the demons in the Pissa Valley, in which the demons were defeated. The Plea Valley is a risky destination in the journey. It is situated at an altitude of 11120 feet above sea level.


After Pissa Valley, the next stop is 14 km away at Sheshnag. The journey of the first stage along the banks of the Lidder River is very difficult. This route is steep and dangerous. The traveller faces severe cold on reaching Sheshnag. There is a beautiful blue water lake between the ranges. On peeping into it, there is an illusion that the sky has descended into the lake. The lake is spread about one and a half kilometres in diameter. It is said that Sheshnag resides in Sheshnag Lake. Sheshnag comes out of the lake once in 24 hours, but only the lucky ones get the darshan. Pilgrims take the rest of the night here and start the third day's journey from here.

Panchtarni is 12 km from Sheshnag. In between, one has to cross the Bivawell Top and Mahagunas Pass, whose height is 13500 feet and 14500 feet respectively above sea level. The entire path from Mahagunas peak to Panchtarni is of descent. Due to the five small rivers flowing here, it was named Panchtarni. This place is covered with high peaks of mountains from all sides. It is also very cold because of the altitude. Due to the lack of oxygen, the pilgrims have to make security arrangements here. The cave of the holy Amarnath remains only eight kilometres away from here. On the way, only snow remains frozen. On this day, people can spend the night after reaching the cave and on the next day, after offering prayers in the morning, Panchtarni can be returned. Some travellers reach Sheshnag back by evening. The road is quite difficult, but upon reaching the holy cave, all the fatigue of the journey vanishes in a moment and there is a feeling of wonderful spiritual bliss.

Actually, when devotees leave from Chandanwadi or Baltal, they have to face adverse weather throughout the way. The entire belt i.e. Chandanwadi, Pisu Top, Joli Bal, Naga Koti, Sheshnag, Warbal, Mahagunas Top, Pabibal, Panchtarini, Sangam Top, Amarnath, Barari, Domel, Baltal, Sonmarg and the surrounding area is covered with snow for most of the year. Due to this human activities last only a few months. The rest of the time the weather here is not fit for human habitation. With the onset of summer, the snow melts here and preparations for the journey are started in April. There is no good place to stay or rest between Amarnath and Baltal from Chandanwadi for the pilgrims going towards the holy cave. The route of more than 30 km is often accompanied by strong winds, sometimes light or heavy rains, and devotees have no option but to get wet. There is no shed anywhere to escape, which is why a large number of people also get sick. This is the reason why travellers of weak stature are unable to bear the freezing cold of Sheshnag's bone and even die, so medically unfit people are advised not to go on Amarnath Yatra.

Despite terrorism and threats, the movement of people from rest of India to Jammu and Kashmir has increased instead of decreasing. Religious places like Vaishno Devi, Amarnath, Shivkhodi, Kheer Bhavani and Budha Amarnath were the reason. First Vaishnodevi climb became popular, then Amarnath Yatra. The number of people visiting Amarnath cave from all over the country is increasing continuously. In order to discourage the devotees, a controversy was raised about melting the linga and sometimes imposing an artificial linga, but the reverence did not diminish. Seeing the growing crowd of people, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board was also established in the year 2000. To overcome these difficulties of the devotees, the Ghulam Nabi Azad government on 26 May 2008 allotted 800 nala i.e. 40 hectares of forest department's land at Domel near Baltal to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board at the request of the Center, so that the passengers would be facilitated and temporary camps can be set up. The proposed shelter has facilities for bathing, eating and staying overnight. In return, a compensation of Rs 2.5 crore was also fixed. However, first, the matter went to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, where the court clearly said that for the convenience of the passengers, prefabricated huts should be built and other facilities should be provided.

How to reach Amarnath?

Pilgrims from all corners of the country can easily reach Jammu by rail, bus or plane. The pilgrimage of pilgrims starts from Jammu. There are also two ways to go on Amarnath Yatra. One via Pahalgam and the other via Sonmarg Baltal. That is, to reach Pahalgam and Baltal by any ride, to go further from here, you will have to use your feet. Riders can be arranged for the disabled or the elderly.

Although the sacred cave is located in the Sindh valley near Amarnath (Amravati), a tributary of the Sindh River, it is traditionally reached via the Lidar Valley. Pilgrims reach the holy cave on this route via Pahalgam in South Kashmir and travel for about 46 km passing through Chandanwadi, Pissa Ghati, Sheshnag and Panchtarni. The route from Pahalgam is considered easy and convenient. Another short route is from Baltal located on the Srinagar - Leh highway.

The distance from Baltal to Amarnath Cave is only 14 km and it is a very inaccessible road and also questionable from a security point of view. There are some areas with steep climbs and steep slopes. That is why the government does not consider this route safe and encourages most travellers to go to Amarnath via Pahalgam. But people who are fond of adventure and risk-taking prefer to travel through this route.

In the past, this route was used at the beginning of the summer season but sometimes due to the melting of snow, this route became impossible to use. But with the passage of time, the conditions have improved and travel has become much easier on both the routes.

We hope you like the information provided by our team on Amarnath Ji. Planning to visit Jammu and Kashmir?

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