Amarnath yatra is the most revered pilgrimage in Hinduism, one which every Hindu aspires to embark on once in his lifetime. This religious Yatra is organized every year to the great Himalayas, by the government of Jammu and Kashmir. The Amarnath tour is attended by thousands of domestic and international devotees. Interestingly, the main cave temple site is located at a height of 12,756 feet from the sea level and is around 141 km away from the state’s capital city, Srinagar. Though the Yatra is physically taxing, pilgrims put in a lot of effort to complete the holy tour of the scenic Amarnath caves. The Yatra can be undertaken along two routes- Baltal to Amarnath Cave and Pahalgam to Amarnath cave.
The Legend for Amarnath Yatra
According to a popular legend, a pigeon which came-out from a hatched egg, heard the Amarnath Katha. Another popular variation has a parrot in place of the pigeon as the central character. While Lord Shiva was narrating the Amar Katha, the secret of life and eternity, to Goddess Parvati, she fell asleep but the parrot started making noises. Hence, Lord Shiva thought that Parvati was listening to the story. However, when he finished the narration, he realized that she was actually asleep and the parrot was listening all this while. This enraged the Lord, who threw his trident (Trishula) to kill the parrot. In order to escape the trident, it is believed that the parrot entered in the body of a lady, who was a sage’s wife and decided to grow inside her womb. The baby that was later born, was named Shuka, went on to become a famous sage. Post this incident, Lord Shiva ordained that anybody who’ll visit the Amarnath Cave will surely attain Moksha.
Religious Significance of Amarnath Yatra
According to the Hindu religious beliefs, the ice lingam shrinks and grows with the phases of the moon reaching massive dimensions during May to October. There are two other ice formations that represent Parvati and Shiva’s son ‘Ganesha’.
Amarnath Yatra Dates for 2019
Amarnath Yatra Dates is commenced by the Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), the caretaker of holy cave. In 2019 yatra will starts from 2nd July to 15th August.
How To Prepare for Amarnath Yatra
Special care needs to be taken during the preparation for Amarnath tour. Complete documentation and Medical fitness are paramount before embarking on the Amarnath yatra.
Essential Documentation For Amarnath Yatra
Complete and proper documentation is a must before going to the yatra. It is imperative to register for the Yatra before devotees head for Amarnath. To get registered for Amarnath Yatra:
1. Take your medical fitness certificate from a doctor authorized by SASB (Amarnath Shrine Board), which certifies you are fit for the physically arduous Yatra.
2. Essential documents you will need during the Yatra include (but not limited to) Voter ID, Driving License, Passport etc for your identity.
Physical Fitness for Amarnath Yatra
Physical fitness is essential and the main concern. If you have a great desire to embark on this yatra, you need to be physically fit and can prepare yourself by some easy but important activities like walking for at least 6 kilometers everyday for almost 2 to 3 weeks before starting the journey. Deep breathing exercise will also help. If you happen to suffer from lung diseases, high blood pressure and cardiac disease, it is advisable to seek doctor’s opinion, before proceeding to the holy voyage.
How to Reach Amarnath Cave
Basically, two routes are decided for Yatra pilgrims - from Pahalgam and from Baltal. Though, both these routes are well connected from all major cities, a higher percentage of pilgrims prefer to begin their journey from Srinagar, a major reason being the easy accessibility of Srinagar airport/railway station/Bus Stand. From here, one can hire a taxi for Sonmarg or Baltal, which is around 106 km from Srinagar airport.You can even start your journey from Pahalgam, about 92 km from Srinagar.
1 .Pilgrimage Yatra From Baltal To Amarnath cave
Amarnath via Baltal is the most popular route among Amarnath pilgrims since it is the shortest too. Baltal is only 14 km from the Cave, which can be covered by road and by helicopter. Helicopter service is especially for pilgrims who are short on time. Indian Holiday’s Helicopter Tour Packages let you save a lot of time and physical effort. The exciting Helicopter ride covers most of the yatra between Nilgrad (Baltal) to Panjtarni and the remaining 6 km distance can be covered by trek with the help of wooden sticks
2 .Pilgrimage to Amarnath Cave from Baltal
Pahalgam, which was once famous in the Kashmir Valley for its natural beauty, has now turned into a base camp for pilgrims. Pahalgam base camp is just 96 km away from Srinagar and 47 km from the cave site. The first step of yatra is at Chandanwari, 9,500 feet, around 16 km from the Pahalgam base camp. Then next step is Pissu top, 3 km away, located at 11,000 feet, followed by Shesnag around 9 km from Pissu top that is located at 11,730 feet. The next destination is Panjtarni, almost 12 km away from here, placed at 12,000 feet. Nevertheless, you can also cover this distance by helicopter or by road.
How to Book For Amarnath Yatra By Helicopter
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