Amarnath caves are one of the more prominent shrines in the Hindu religion. It is situated in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Amarnath shrine is part of Hindu mythology.
Shiva Linga:The main attraction-and religious significance of Amarnath cave is an ice linga formed within it. The stalagmite resembles the Shiva Linga. The stalagmite waxes during the months of May to August and wanes after that period. It is believed that the Lingam shrinks and grows with phases of the moon- reaching its height in the summer during the time of the festival.
According to ancient Hindu mythology, Amarnath cave was the spot where Lord Shiva explained the intricate secrets of eternity and life to his wife Parvati. Just beside the main stalagmite, there are two other similar formations representing Parvati and Ganesha- son of Shiva. The cave is located at an altitude of 12,760 feet.
Historical importance:Hindu pilgrims have been making the trek since ancient times. References to Amarnath caves have been found in 14th century texts like the Nilamata Purana. At that time Amarnath was known as Amareshwara.
Amareshwara finds mention in Mughal times. The renowned Sanskrit scholar Panditraj Jagannath clearly mentions the cave when describing the Mughal garden Nishat. Nishat was planned by Emperor Shah Jahan's father-in-law Asif Khan. The French physician Francois Bernier also mentioned Amarnath caves during his trip to the place with Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.