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Introducing Amarnath

Best time to visit : Summer months (April to October)
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A visit to the Amarnath cave makes the life of a devout Hindu complete. This famous shrine is located in the Himalayan peaks. It is believed that Lord Shiva resided here with Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha. The path leading up to the cave is snowy, steep and difficult to tread. But the picturesque scenario surrounding the path is so breath taking that devotees do not mind the trek. What adds to this feel is the zeal of visiting 'Shivaling' that is actually an ice stalagmite formed inside the cave. The stalagmite (Shivalinga) inside the cave is formed by the trickling of freezing water that freezes and grows. In the summer months, the formation melts slightly, but grows back in size with the fall of winter. It is believed that in this cave Lord Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his wife, Goddess Parvati. There is another ice formation inside the cave that is of Lord Ganesha.

Facts

The Amarnath cave is located in Jammu and Kashmir in north India. It is one of the most important religious tourist places in India and is 3,888 metre above sea level. People have to trek to this location and this might take days. The shrine is open to the public only for a short time during the summer months. People usually avail tours and travels services to make this trip. The more adventurous and confident however, make the trip by themselves. Every year several thousand pilgrims take this trip and the government of India makes provisions for them so that the journey is safe and peaceful. During July and August, there is a 45-day festival called the Shravani mela that attracts pilgrims. It is to be noted that medical fitness certificate in compulsory for Amarnath Yatra.

Due to the rugged terrain and extreme weather, you would not come across any lavish eateries and restaurants. You might come across some tea stalls offering light snacks and beverages like tea, coffee etc. on the way up. It is advised that pilgrims carry biscuits, chocolates, tinned food, dry fruits and candies on their way up. You can also find free food supply from some non-profit organisations on the way to the shrine.

There are no specific markets or shopping streets in Amarnath. However, you can find some small shops set up by locals selling souvenirs of the pilgrimage.

Nearby Places:
Planning to go on the Amarnath Yatra is a full-fledged trip in itself. However, you can consider visiting a few other locations that are as beautiful as the pilgrimage and picturesque places around.

  • Srinagar: : The beautiful city of Srinagar is the capital of Jammu & Kashmir. Situated on the banks of river Jhelum, Srinagar is beauty personified with lakes, gardens, flowers, and boat houses.
  • Pahalgam: You can also visit Pahalgam situated at the confluence of the streams arising from Sheshnag Lake and Lidder River, Pahalgam with its mesmerizing charm makes you feel like you are sitting in the lap of nature with nothing to care for in the world.

The caves being located in the high altitude areas,those who have previous medical history of heart disease,high blood pressure etc. are advised to embark upon Yatra only after due advice of doctor.

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