Amarnath – A haven for pilgrims

Amarnath - A haven for pilgrims
Amarnath Ji

Amarnath, located in union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most important pilgrimages in India for the worshippers of Lord Shiva. The Amarnath cave has an enshrined Shivaling formed naturally with ice, which resembles Lord Shiva.

Amarnath is visited by millions of tourists every year from all across the world for a challenging mountainous trek called ‘Amarnath Yatra’. Legend has it that, this place is regarded to be the same cave where Lord Shiva revealed the secret of life and eternity to Goddess Parvati.

Amarnath Cave is accessible only during the Sharavan months of July-August. There are two routes available for undertaking the Amarnath Yatra – via Baltal or Pahalgam. The Baltal route, though shorter, has a steeper trekking route. The Pahalgam route is longer but is generally preferred by most of the devotees. It usually takes 3-5 days to reach Amarnath from the base point.

Helicopter services are now available by private operators on both these routes. The devotees need to make advance bookings and get registered to undertake the holy pilgrimage to Amarnath.

Things to do in Amarnath

Amarnath Cave: Located in Jammu and Kashmir, the Amarnath Cave is a Hindu Shrine and is visited by lakhs of people every year. It is located at an altitude of 3,888 m. The Amarnath falls into the categories of the most famous Hindu Shrines. Lakhs and Thousands of devotees make a pilgrimage to the cave during summers, while it is open, as they cross-challenging mountain terrains to reach to the ice stalagmite formed inside the cave.

About Amarnath Yatra

The Amarnath yatra attracts lakhs of pilgrims every year who visit the site during Shravani Mela in July-August (Shravan month in Hindu calendar) – the only time in the whole year when the Amarnath Cave is accessible. The cave is placed at an altitude of 3,888m, about 141 km from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir and reached through Pahalgam town. Amarnath has an important part to play in Hinduism and is considered to be one of the holiest shrines. The annual ‘Amarnath Yatra’ is marked by ‘Pratham Pujan’ that is said to invoke the blessings of Baba Amarnath.

Moreover, since the ice is collected from the water dripping from the top of the cave due to the melting of the ice on top of it, the ‘lingam’ reaches a maximum around July-August when the ice caps around the cave are melting. Water seeps into the rocks that form the cave and progressively fade thereafter. As per the religious beliefs, it has been claimed that the lingam grows and shrinks with the phases of the moon reaching its height during the summer festival.

Baltal Tourism

Set at an altitude of 2743 m, Baltal suffices as a halt destination just about perfectly for all the religious Amarnath Cave pilgrims. At a distance of 14 kms from Amarnath, this place serves as the base camp for devotees with adequate arrangements of pitch tents to spend the night.


Situated in the Anantnag district, about 90km away from Srinagar, Pahalgam is a beautiful hill station and a popular tourist attraction of Jammu & Kashmir. Pahalgam is located on the banks of the Liddar River, and the rugged terrains, green meadows, and snow-capped mountains make it a perfect spot for adventure enthusiasts. Kolahoi Glaciers trek via a beautiful village named Aru is one of the popular trekking regions.

Best time to visit Amarnath

Amarnath Cave and Temple is not accessible to tourists for the most part of the year. The Amarnath Yatra is for a specific period and is announced each year. It usually begins on the auspicious day of Skandshasthi (as per the Hindu calendar) in July and ends of Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) in August. So, the best time to visit Amarnath is July-August.

How to Reach Amarnath

The nearest airport to Amarnath is the Srinagar airport. Anyway, the journey commences from Pahalgam, which is a bus ride of 2 hours from the airport. The nearest railway station to Pahalgam remains the Jammu Tawi Railway Station. From there, you can reach Amarnath by helicopter, on foot, or by pony rides.

Also ReadJioTV brings live ‘aarti’ of Amarnath Ji

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