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Shiva, in the form of a lingam, is formed naturally of an ice - stalagmite One of the holy trinity, Shiva is a living god. The most ancient and sacred book of India, the Rig Veda evokes his presence in its hymns. Vedic myths, ritual and even astronomy testify to his existence from the dawn of time.Shiva is known to have made his home in the Himalayas. He built no house nor shelter, not for himself or his bride. He was an ascetic, and yet married; he could be both for "he was the wild god sporting in the forest or taking his ease on a cloud.

Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in the Amarnathji cave. Unknown to them, a pair of mating pigeons eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the pigeons-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).

The trek to Amarnathji, in the month of Shravan (July - August) has the devout flock to this incredible shrine, where the image of Shiva, in the form of a lingam, is formed naturally of an ice - stalagmite, and which waxes and wanes with the moon. By its side are, fascinatingly, two more ice - lingams, that of Parvati and of their son, Ganesha.

Yet another legend has it that when Kashap Reshi drained the Kashmir valley of water (it was believed to have been a vast lake), the cave and the lingam were discovered by Bregish Reshi who was travelling the Himalayas. When people heard of the lingam, Amarnathji for them became Shiva's abode and a centre of pilgrimage.

The Yatra Procession :
Whatever the legends and the history of Amarnathji's discovery, it is today a very important centre of pilgrimage and though the route is as difficult to negotiate as it is exciting, every year, thousands of devotees come to pay homage before Shiva in one of his famous Himalayan abodes.

Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder valley, Amarnathji stands at 3,888 m and is 45 km from Pahalgam and 141 km from Srinagar. Though the original pilgrimage subscribes that the yatra be undertaken from Srinagar, the more common practice is to begin the journey from Pahalgam, and cover the distance to Amarnathji and back in four or five days. Pahalgam is 96 km from Srinagar.

Trek To AmarnathJi Cave :
The trek from Pahalgam to Amarnathji cave is on an ancient peregrine route. The 45 - km distance is covered in four days, with night halts at Chandanwari, Sheshnag (Wawjan) and Panchtarni. The distance from Pahalgam to Chandanwari (16 km) is now covered by motor transport. The pilgrims camp here or at Pahalgam on the first night out. 
The first day's trek of 13 km from Chandanwari is through spectacular, primeval countryside. The main centre of attraction on this trek is Sheshnag, a mountain lake which derives its name from its seven peaks, resembling the heads of a mythical snake. The journey to Sheshnag follows steep inclines up the right bank of a cascading stream and wild scenery untouched by civilisation. The second night's camp at Wawjan overlooks the deep blue water of Sheshnag lake, and glaciers beyond it. The lake is also associated with legends of love and revenge, and at the camp these are recounted by campfires, to the stillness of a pine-scented, Himalayan night.

The second day's 12 km trek steadily gains height, winding up across Mahagunas Pass at 4,600 m and then descending to the meadow - lands of Panchtarni, the last camp enroute to the holy cave.

Sight Seeing & Excursion :

Amarnath Cave : The cave is a large hemispherical hollow wedged into a cliff of white Mesozoic dolomite. At the rear of the cave are several frozen springs. It is these springs that melt ever so slowly to form the ice lingam. And it is for darshan of this lingam that pilgrims brave every hazard. The size of the lingam waxes and wanes according to the season, and its peak, reaches a height of almost 13 to 14 feet. The cave is about 60 feet in length, 30 feet in width and 15 feet in height. 

Chandanwari : 16 Km from Pahalgam is Chandanwari, a small valley bout 6,500 feet above sea level, and the starting point of the Amarnath yatra. The climb to Pissu Top is steep. One is usually on the pony during this initial climb. Thereafter, the trek is on fairly level ground nd only very slightly steep. Good shoes are a prerequisite here. Army jawans are everywhere and very helpful.

Sheshnag : 13 Km from Chandanwari and about 11,330 feet above sea level. The sight of the Sheshnag Lake from the top is spectacular. Sheshnag is the name of the mountain where the cave lies and derives its name from its seven peaks that resemble the head of the mythical snake. Here, tents, bedding and food for the travellers are provided. Free kitchens provided hot fresh food. Free medical camps are also found at several places along the way. 


Amarnath Package

 
 
Accessbility :
Air : Nearest Airport is at Srinagar.
Rail : The nearest railhead for the Amarnath Yatra is Jammu station.
Road : From Jammu, buses take you to Pahalgam (about 250 kms). Jammu is well connected to places in north India by National Highway 1A and other major all-weather roads and by rail to all the major states.
When To Go : Days are warm and sunny in spring with frequent showers. Temperature in the valley range between 25C and 35C, but considerable cooler in the hills. September to November are dry months. Snowfall begins in December. The best time is between the months of April and October. The Yatra takes place in the month of Shravan (beginning in July and Lasting up to the end of August).
 
 
   
   
 
 
 
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