Amaranth Yatra: Journey to the holy caves in the Himalayas

Pilgrimages-in-India-blog-amarnath2

No pilgrimage comes with ease. Stony roads, high altitudes, strong winds, extensive walks, long waits, bumpy rides and several physical challenges- a pilgrimage includes many all of these, if not all. Amarnath Yatra, one of the most revered pilgrimages in India, is a magical mix of arduous treks through mountainous terrains and soaking in the breathtaking views of the Himalayas.

The Amarnath cave temple is a Hindu shrine located at an altitude of around 3,888m in the picturesque valley of Jammu and Kashmir. It can be reached from Pahalgam or Srinagar. Amarnath shrine is considered to be one of the holiest shrines of Hinduism. A stalagmite is formed inside the cave due to the freezing of water drops that falls on the floor from the roof of the cave vertically. The stalagmite is said to take the shape of a holy Lingam, which is symbolic of Lord Shiva. The cave remains covered by snow almost throughout the year. It opens for pilgrims only during summer. Amarnath Yatra takes place once in a year, between July and August or during the month of Shravan, when the snow melts on the Himalayas.

The trek to Amarnath temple is difficult yet captivating, challenging yet rewarding. However, these challenges mean very petite to pilgrims who prepare themselves for all worse situations while they embark on their annual pilgrimage to the holy cave of Amarnath. Amarnath Yatra is organised every year by the Jammu and Kashmir government between July and August, depending on weather conditions. The government arranges for food and tented accommodations for pilgrims.

Amarnath Yatra

The journey to Amarnath Temple generally takes around five days.  There are two trekking routes to Amarnath cave- Pahalgam route, which is around 46km and Baltal route, which is around 14km. The Amaranth Yatra route via Pahalgam is recommended for the trek, because, here, the roads are broad and are also open to pony rides.

Many of you may find it difficult to trek to Amarnath. To make your spiritual trip comfortable, several private operators have introduced helicopter service. Amarnath Yatra by helicopter is less time-consuming, less tiring and comparatively comfortable. It takes around two days to complete the Amarnath Yatra by helicopter. No matter how difficult the Amarnath Yatra is, it is one of the most beautiful spiritual journeys you take in your life. The panoramic views of snow-clad Himalayas, rolling meadows, green valleys, and zigzag roads of Kashmir valley paint the picture of a paradise.

The journey to Amarnath Temple starts early morning from Srinagar. It begins with a short drive from Srinagar to the helipad at Neelgrath. The helicopter ride from Neelgrath to Panjtarni is one of the most captivating parts of the yatra. It takes around 15-20 minutes to reach Panjtarni from Neelgrath. You need to de-board the aircraft at Panjtarni and cover the remaining distance by foot. The short trek from Panjtarni to Amarnath Cave is safe and easy. An important part of the yatra is the security check before the helicopter ride. Due to strict security measures, you are advised to keep all essential documents ready for verification.

Now comes the main part of the yatra – the arrival at Amarnath Cave. One of the holiest places in India, the snow-clad Amarnath cave is a sight to behold forever. The moment you get the darshan of the Shiva lingam inside the cave, you are transported to a world of sheer peace and divinity. It is the attainment of Moksha. Far away from bustling cities, chaotic traffic and mechanical life, the Amarnath cave in the Himalayas welcomes you to a world of spirituality and surreal beauty. After offering puja, you are required to trek back to Panjtarni to board the helicopter back to Neelgrath. With this journey, you will definitely take back memories of one of the most popular pilgrimages in India.

Despite adequate security and arrangements made by the Jammu and Kashmir government, the Amarnath Yatra comes with lots of preparations. You need to be physically fit, even to undertake the Amarnath Yatra by helicopter. Also, register with the government in advance. It can rain during any time of the rain, so, it is advisable to carry a raincoat or umbrella. Accidents en route the shrine is not unknown. Therefore, it is highly recommended to get yourselves insured before taking the yatra.

The Amarnath Yatra is one of the toughest pilgrimages in India. However, faith and devotion can make it a success. Those who are planning for Amarnath Yatra 2018 can refer to ezeego1’s Amarnath Yatra by helicopter packages.

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