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Amarnath Tourism | How to Plan a Trip to Amarnath

The sacred Amarnath Yatra takes one to the holy abode of Baba Barfani (Lord Shiva). Nestled amidst astounding vistas and commanding a challenging trek, the sacred cave enshrining the ice lingam presents a sight to behold.


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Amarnath At a Glance
  • Average Climate:2°C
  • Best Time to Visit:June - August
  • STD Code:

Amarnath Travel Guide

The holy shrine of Amarnath Ji, or Amarnath Temple, is located at an elevation of 3,888 meters, about 29 kilometers from Pahalgam. Although an arduous trek, the holy vacation is one of India's most revered pilgrimages. The ultimate destination of the spiritual expedition is Amarnath Cave, which is flocked to by ardent devotees of Lord Shiva. 

You have landed at the right place if you want complete details about Amarnath tourism. This Amarnath travel guide will give you insight into this sacred destination. Marveling at the naturally formed ice lingam of the Almighty after undertaking the challenging journey is a blissful retreat. Add to it awe-inspiring vistas en route that takes the weariness away. 

History and Legends of the Amarnath Temple

The Amarnath Temple, located in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, is one of Hinduism's most ancient and holiest shrines. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in Hinduism, and is believed to have been discovered by a Muslim shepherd named Buta Malik in the 15th century. The temple gained widespread recognition in the 19th century, when it was rediscovered by a Hindu saint named Swami Vivekananda. The shrine is located in a cave at an altitude of 3,888 meters, and it houses a natural ice lingam, which is considered a manifestation of Lord Shiva.

The Amarnath Temple is steeped in legend and mythology. According to one popular legend, Lord Shiva revealed the secrets of immortality to his wife, Parvati, in the Amarnath Cave. It is said that during their conversation, a pair of doves overheard the conversation and became immortal. Another legend states that the Amarnath Cave was where Lord Shiva explained the concept of creation to Goddess Parvati. Yet another code suggests that the ice lingam at the Amarnath Cave was formed when Lord Shiva left behind his Trishul (trident) at the spot. These legends have contributed to the significance and popularity of the Amarnath Temple among Hindu devotees.

Amarnath Temple Opening and Closing Dates 2024

The opening and closing dates of the Amarnath Temple for the 2024 pilgrimage season have yet to be officially announced. However, the pilgrimage season usually begins in late June. It continues till August, with the dates determined by the Hindu calendar and the Amavasya (new moon day) in Shravan. The exact dates for the opening and closing of the Amarnath Temple for the 2024 pilgrimage season will be announced by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) closer to the start of the season.

Amarnath Temple Aarti

The Amarnath Temple does not perform aarti as it is a cave shrine, and the focus is on the natural ice lingam inside the cave. However, during the pilgrimage season, the priests offer various rituals and prayers to the ice lingam. The timing for darshan (worship) of the ice lingam is usually from early morning to late evening, with specific timings for different categories of pilgrims. The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board regulates these timings, and may vary depending on the prevailing weather and other factors.

Registration for Amarnath Yatra

Registration for the Amarnath Yatra is mandatory for all pilgrims. Registration is usually conducted online through the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) website or designated bank branches. Pilgrims must provide personal information, including name, address, and contact details, as well as their travel plans and any medical conditions. They must also upload a recent photograph and provide details of a government-issued photo ID. The registration process usually opens a few months before the pilgrimage season begins.

Places to visit in Amarnath

Are you planning a trip to Amarnath and looking for nearby places to visit to make your trip full of memories? Then, you are on the right track. Of course, the Amarnath Temple is the main attraction in the area, but there are several other places to visit in and around Amarnath that are worth exploring, including:

  • Baltal
  • Pahalgam
  • Chandanwari
  • Lidderwat
  • Gulmarg
  • Betaab Valley

Things to do in Amarnath

The Amarnath Yatra is the main activity for pilgrims visiting the Amarnath Temple, but there are several other things to do in the area, including:

  • The trek to the Amarnath Temple is popular and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
  • The area around the temple is blessed with natural beauty and offers opportunities to explore scenic spots like Pahalgam, Betaab Valley, and Lidderwat.
  • The Lidder River offers opportunities for whitewater rafting, while the nearby mountains are ideal for activities like camping, rock climbing, and rappelling.
  • Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture by interacting with the locals, sampling the local cuisine, and attending local festivals.

Best time to visit Amarnath

The best time to visit Amarnath is during the pilgrimage season, which usually begins in late June and continues till August. The weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging between 15-20°C during the day and dropping to 5-10°C at night. However, the weather in the region can be unpredictable, and it is essential to be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions. Furthermore, the monsoon season in July and August can also cause landslides and disrupt travel plans. 

How to reach Amarnath

The Amarnath Temple is located in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The nearest airport is Srinagar International Airport, which is well-connected to major cities in India. The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi, 300 km from the temple. From there, one can hire a taxi or bus to the temple. The last leg of the journey involves trekking from Baltal or Pahalgam, the base camps for the pilgrimage. Helicopter services are also available from Srinagar and Baltal for those who cannot undertake the trek. Read more.

Accommodations in Amarnath

A trek to the Shri Amarnath Ji shrine is more than a pilgrimage. Instead, it is a medley of various experiences. Camping on the ice under the stars is truly exceptional. From Srinagar to Pahalgam, you will find multiple budget and luxury hotels for a comfortable stay. Afterward, you can easily rent tents at Sheshnag Lake, Panchtarni, and ultimately Gufa if traveling by the Pahalgam route. On the other hand, no tents on the Baltal route are available.

Where to eat in Amarnath?

Amarnath is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims visiting the Amarnath cave shrine. While there are few restaurants in the area, there are a few options for those looking to grab a bite. The local street food, such as samosas and chaat, is a must-try for those who enjoy spicy and flavorful dishes. A few small restaurants and tea stalls also serve traditional Kashmiri cuisine, including dishes like rogan josh and dum aloo. 

How to get around in Amarnath?

The primary mode of transportation in Amarnath is by foot or on horseback. The trek to the Amarnath cave shrine is the main attraction and can take several days. Porters are available for those who require assistance with carrying luggage or supplies. There are also limited options for hiring a private vehicle or helicopter for transportation in the area.

Travel tips

  • Before embarking on the trek, have a medical examination to ensure your physical fitness.
  • Make your registration one month before the yatra's scheduled date.
  • Start a fitness routine at least a month before the trip.
  • Avoid trekking alone and, instead, join a group.
  • Maintain discipline while moving slowly and steadily.
  • Don’t opt for any shortcut, as it may lead to an unknown location/route.



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