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Amarnath – Everything you need to know about Amarath

Amarnath Cave, J&K
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Amidst the snow-clad Himalayan Mountains, located at an altitude of 3888 meters, at a distance of 140 km from Srinagar is the Holy abode of Lord Shiva, called Amarnath.

Shri Amarnathji is a very significant Hindu shrine and it is considered auspicious to visit this holy shrine at least once in a lifetime. Every year lakhs of devotees visit the holy shrine and offer their prayers to the lord.

The devotees of Lord Shiva undertake a challenging journey through the mountains and difficult trek to reach the holy Amarnath cave. In spite of all the challenges and difficulties, the joy and enthusiasm of the devotees remain at peak and the site of such energy is incredible.

The management of the shrine is in the hands of Shri Amarnath ji Shrine Board. The board came is existence in the year 2000 through an act of the state legislature.

Popular Routes: People can approach the Holy shrine from Srinagar, Pahalgam or Baltal. It takes about 4 to 5 days to reach Amarnath Ji from Srinagar.

Mythological Belief:

Amarnath cave is said to be more than 5000 years old. As per Hindu mythology, Amarnath cave has a very interesting story associated with itself. It is said that Lord Shiva explained the secret of the creation of the world and immortality to his holy consort, goddess Parvati. As Lord unveiled the secret (Amar  Katha)  two pigeons overheard the secret and became immortal. It is believed that those pigeons are still alive and are occasionally seen in the cave.

A famous legend tells an interesting tale of how Bhrigu Muni was the first person to rediscover and have Darshna of the holy shrine of Amarnath. The story begins with the valley of Kashmir being submerged underwater for a long time. Then, Kashyap Muni drained it through a number of rivers. As the water retreated Bhrigu Muni became the first person to have visited the holy Amarnath cave.

The faith of the Devotees:

The holy shrine of Amarnath is held in very regards by the followers of the Hindu faith. The devotees travel through tough routes to worship an Ice Shivling (ice stalagmite). The ice stalagmite is created from the trickling water that drops from the roof of the cave, which freezes and later forms the structure. Apparently, it takes the complete form of ‘Shiva Linga’ on the day of Purnima. 

 It is said that the Ice stalagmite waxes and wanes with the moon. Interestingly, apart from the Shivlinga, two other ice structures are seen in the caves, which people believe to be Lord Shiva’s wife Goddess Parvati and their son Lord Ganesha.

Every year the holy shrine is open to the visitors only for a certain number of days in summers, usually from July to August during Sharvani Mela which is a 45 days event. Devotees wait eagerly for this time of year and look forward to embarking their journey.

Unfortunately, the journey to the holy shrine has not always been threat-free for the pilgrims. Several attacks have been targeted on to the visitors by various terrorist groups. The unfortunate events like 2017 Yatra attack, 2000, 2001 and 2002 terrorist attack massacre has people haunted even today.  Despite all that the pilgrims never lose hope in the lord and every year with greater than before enthusiasm they begin their journey of faith.

Wanderer’s Comment:

Visiting Amarnath at least once in a lifetime is an experience like other. One can feel an immense amount of serenity and tranquillity in the place as well in the entire journey. The experience of visiting Amarnath is nothing less than soul-filling.  

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