Amarnath Yatra 2023(Last Updated 13 May, 2023)
Amarnath Yatra is one of the most revered pilgrimages tours in India, one which every Hindu aspires to undertake once in their lifetime. Amarnath Yatra is organized every year by the government of Jammu and Kashmir. The registration for Amarnath Yatra will commence on April 17th, 2023, and the yatra itself will start from 1st July and end on the 31st of August 2023.
Interestingly, the main cave temple site is located at the height of 3,888 m above 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 Amarnath cave. You can book your Amarnath Yatra package via Baltal to Amarnath Cave and Pahalgam to Amarnath cave.
Content of Table About Amarnath Shrine
- Amarnath Yatra Starting Date 2023
- Amarnath Yatra Registration 2023 Date
- Legend of Amarnath Yatra
- How to Prepare for Amarnath Yatra
- How to registration for Amarnath Yatra
- Amarnath Yatra Group Registration
- Registration Procedure for NRI/ ex-India Pilgrims
- Health advisory for Amarnath Yatra
- How to Reach Baltal/Pahalgam from Srinagar
- Amarnath to Pahalgam route
Amarnath to Baltal route
- Amarnath Helicopter booking
- Things to carry
Where to stay
Where to eat during
- Which is the best time to visit Amarnath
How is weather during Amarnath Yatra
Frequently Asked Questions
The Legend of Amarnath Yatra
Many legends are associated with this famous pilgrimage site, and one stands out among them. However, one story is most popularly known among the pilgrims. Amarnath is drenched in magic and folklore, which fascinates the devotees. The story of Amarnath goes a little like this:
Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva the reason for wearing the beads of the head (Mund Mala). The Lord replied that he adds a new head in the bead every time she dies and is born again. Upon hearing this, Goddess Parvati asked why she had died again and again, but he is immortal. To this Lord told her that for this, she has to listen to the Amar Katha.
Then, Lord Shiva decided to narrate the Amar Katha, the tale of immortality, to his divine consort Goddess Parvati. For which he was looking for a quiet place aloof from all living beings so that any living being will not overhear the tale of immortality. For this, he heads towards Amarnath cave. During his journey, Lord Shiva leaves his belongings on the way. At Pahalgam, he leaves his bull Nandi. At Chandanwari, Lord Shiva leaves the moon from his hair. In the place where Sheshnag Lake is situated, he let go of his snake, Sheshnag, the king of snakes, and at Mahagunas Parvat, he left his son Lord Ganesha. And finally, at Panjtarni, Lord Shiva left the five physical elements of cosmic creations (air, water, earth, space, and fire).
After leaving behind all their earthly belongings, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati arrive at Amarnath Cave. Before entering the cave, Lord Shiva performs Tandav Nritya (dance) with Goddess Parvati. Upon reaching the cave, Lord Shiva takes Samadhi on a deerskin and concentrates. To ensure there is no living being left to listen to the immortal tale, Lord Shiva creates Rudra named Kalagni and orders him to spread fire to eliminate every living being. After this, Lord Shiva started narrating the story of immortality to the Goddess Parvati.
However, one egg was lying beneath the deerskin and was protected from the fire. It is a pair of pigeons born from the egg and become immortal, having listened to the secret of immortality or Amar Katha. It is believed that to this date, they remain immortal and can be seen at Amarnath cave.
Another popular variation has a parrot in place of the pigeon as the central character. At the same time, Lord Shiva was narrating the Amar Katha, the secret of life and eternity, to Goddess Parvati. She fell asleep while listening to the tale of immortality, 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 asleep and the parrot was listening to the story all this while. This enraged Lord Shiva, who threw his trident (Trishul) to kill the parrot.
To escape the trident, it is believed that the parrot entered 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 and became a famous sage. After this incident, Lord Shiva ordained that anybody visiting the Amarnath Cave would surely attain Moksha or salvation.
Religious Significance of Amarnath Yatra
Amarnath Cave is one of the holiest shrines of Hindus, and it is believed that taking the pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime can free the person from the cycle of rebirth. The Amarnath Cave gets its significance from the Shiva Lingam formed at the height of 40 m inside the cave. Hindus believe that Lord Shiva is present in the ice lingam.
According to the Hindu religious beliefs, the ice lingam shrinks and grows with the moon's phases reaching massive dimensions from May to October. Two other ice formations represent Parvati and Shiva's son 'Ganesha.' Every year, the year water seeps mysteriously from the top of the cave, freezes into ice, and forms the ice lingam. It acquires full shape on Purnima (full moon night), which is almost 10-12 feet high. It is believed that on that day, Lord Shiva revealed the secrets of life to Goddess Parvati.
Discovery of Amarnath Cave
Even though the existence of Amarnath Cave is mentioned in the Puranas, the story of the re-discovery of Amarnath Cave is narrated by people. As per the folklore, the Amarnath Cave was discovered by a Muslim shepherd, Buta Malik, in 1850, who met a saint here. The saint gave Buta Malik a bag of coal.
He checked the bag upon reaching the home and found that the bag contained gold instead of coal. He was overjoyed and returned to thank the saint but couldn't find him. Instead, he found a cave and an ice lingam. The pilgrimage to the cave began after he shared the discovery with the villagers.
Amarnath Yatra Starting Dates 2023
Amarnath Yatra dates are decided by the Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), the caretaker of the holy cave. In 2023, Amarnath Yatra starts from 1st July 2023 to 31st August 2023. The registration of the annual 72-days Amarnath Yatra registration is going to start from 17th April 2023. The Yatra usually starts on the auspicious occasion of Skanda Sashti as per the Hindu calendar and concludes on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan).
How To Prepare for Amarnath Yatra
Amarnath Cave is situated at a high altitude, and pilgrims are required to take care of special needs during the preparation for the pilgrimage. Here are a few things that devotees need to remember while preparing for Amarnath Yatra.
- It is advisable to carry sufficient woolens as the region experiences sub-zero temperature. Also, carry a wind-cheater and raincoat. Waterproof bags, sturdy shoes, battery torch, walking stick, and power banks are other essentials that one should carry.
- Medical posts with qualified doctors are established en route, free of cost. However, carrying the essential medicines and medical kit with you is advised.
- Essential shops, restaurants, and tea stalls are available at Chandanwari, Sheshnag, and Panjtarni. Although, it is advisable to carry biscuits, tinned food, and dry fruits with you during the Yatra.
- Complete documentation and medical fitness are paramount before going to Amarnath. The pilgrims' registration is usually undertaken a month before the Yatra commencement date. Pilgrims cannot embark on the Yatra without a permit or registration card.
Amarnath Yatra 2023 Registration Date
Amarnath Yatra Registration Date is starting from 17th April 2023. You can register for Amarnath Yatra both offline and online. The offline registration forms for Amarnath Yatra 2023 will be available at 625 Punjab National Bank, Yes Bank, and Jammu & Kashmir Bank branches. Only a limited number of forms will be available on a particular day. So, to ensure that you get the Amarnath Yatra registration form, arrive at your nearest bank branch as early as possible.
How to Register for Amarnath Yatra
It is mandatory to complete the registration formalities for Amarnath Yatra. Also, carrying the proper documents is a must during the Yatra. Here is the detailed information to get Amarnath Yatra registration:
- There are two ways to register for Amarnath Yatra - offline mode and online mode. You can obtain Yatra Permit from the approved banks and registration centers.
- For online registration, download the form from the official website and attach the necessary documents, including a Compulsory Health Certificate (CHC) issued on or after the specified date by the Authorized Doctor/ Medical Institution. You can also apply for the permit on the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB). The registration fee for Amarnath Yatra 2023 is INR 100. The age limit of Yatris is between 13 years and 75 years. Pregnant ladies of more than 6 months are not allowed for Yatra.
- For offline registration, you must visit the designated banks and the necessary documents such as Compulsory Health Certificate (CHC), original identity proof, and photographs. The essential documents you will need during the Yatra include (but are not limited to) Voter ID, Driving License, Passport, etc., for your identity.
- With one mobile number, only 4 people can register for Yatra. Credit cards, debit cards, or net banking can be used for online payment.
How to boost your health for Amarnath Yatra?
Amarnath is one of the prominent Hindu Dhams, and it is believed that one must do this pilgrimage tour once in a lifetime. However, the trek to Amarnath is arduous, and it requires fitness. Here is the detailed information about how to prepare for Amarnath Yatra:
- Trekking or climbing up a mountain requires a lot of physical stamina and willpower. If you have a great desire to embark on this Yatra, you need to be physically fit. You can prepare yourself with some easy but essential activities like walking for at least 6 kilometers every day for almost 2 to 3 weeks before starting the journey.
- Stretching exercise also helps a lot. At the same time, a workout stretches your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, and low back muscles regularly. It promotes relaxation in the tissues reducing the strain on your back.
- Deep breathing exercises and Yoga, particularly Pranayama, help improve the body's oxygen efficiency.
Health Advisory for Amarnath Yatra
Amarnath Cave is situated at a high altitude in the Himalayan region of Kashmir Valley and experiences severe weather conditions. The air pressure is low, and you are exposed to extreme UV radiation. Therefore, you might feel common problems like nausea, headache, vomit, and breathing difficulties. So it is recommended to carry essential medicines and apply sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
Things you need to remember at Amarnath Yatra -
- If you have any medical condition, inform fellow trekkers and authorities. Consult your doctor before commencing this trip.
- Make carbohydrates your best friend on this trip. You might feel sick at this altitude, immediately head to lower altitudes and get a checkup.
- Do not smoke, drink alcohol, or consume caffeine.
- Your sleeping altitude should not cross 300 meters of the altitude you slept on the previous day.
How to Reach Pahalgam/Baltal from Srinagar
Two routes are decided for Yatra pilgrims - from Pahalgam and 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.
Take a look at how to reach Pahalgam and Baltal from Srinagar.
- Srinagar to Pahalgam - Take a shared taxi to reach Pahalgam from Srinagar. The distance between Srinagar and Pahalgam is approx. 88 km and will take approx. 2 hours 18 minutes via National Highway 1A and K.P Road.
- Srinagar to Baltal - Direct cab is available from Srinagar to Baltal. It will take you approx. 3 hours 14 minutes (95.2 km) via National Highway 1.
How to reach Amarnath Cave from Baltal/Pahalgam
1. Pilgrimage Yatra From Baltal To Amarnath cave
Amarnath via Baltal is the most popular route among Amarnath pilgrims since it is the shortest. Baltal is only 14 km from the Cave, which can be covered by road and helicopter. Helicopter service is especially for pilgrims who are short on time. Indian Holiday's Helicopter Tour Packages let you save 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.
- Baltal to Amarnath Cave Route: Baltal – Domali – Barari Marg – Sangam – Holy Cave
2. Pilgrimage Yatra From Pahalgam
Pahalgam, once famous in the Kashmir Valley for its natural beauty, has now become 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 the yatra is at Chandanwari, 9,500 feet, around 16 km from the Pahalgam base camp. The next step is the Pissu top, 3 km away, located at 11,000 feet, followed by Shesnag, around 9 km from Pissu top, 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.
Pahalgam to Amarnath Cave Route: Pahalgam – Chandanwari – Pissu Top – Sheshnag – Panchtarni – Holy Amarnath Cave
How to Book Amarnath Yatra By Helicopter
The advance tickets for a helicopter for Amarnath Yatra can be booked online on the official website of the Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board (SASB). Pilgrims can also book their tickets from the tatkal counter of Helicopter operators at respective helipads. The chances of getting tickets at the counters become less due to the heavy rush in the peak season. So it is advisable to book the tickets in advance. Children below 2 years of age can travel free of cost. Although, children shall be carried in the lap of the accompanying adult.
Indian Holiday provides various Tour Packages For Amarnath Yatra by helicopter or trek. So just book your tour now and start your pilgrimage yatra to the holy Amarnath cave.
Baltal to Amarnath Cave Pithu, Pony, Palki Charges 2023
|Rates of Baltal to Amarnath Cave||Per person Charges|
Useful Tips for Amarnath Yatra
- If you are traveling with a family with children below 13 years and senior citizens 75 years and above, avoid trekking. Six weeks pregnant ladies are also not allowed.
- Free food and water services are provided such as rice, roti, idlis, dosa, dry fruits, and chocolates.
- Tents at Nuwan in Pahalgam are provided with mats and blankets to protect from cold weather. But do not have high expectations.
- It is freezing in Jammu and Kashmir, so make sure to carry woolen clothes, jackets, caps, gloves. A windcheater, raincoat, and a torch might come in handy.
- Bring waterproof boots made of plastic or rubber. They gave a good grip and will help you with the water and snow.
- Photography and littering are not allowed inside the caves. Follow the guidelines accordingly.
- Tents do not have an attached toilet and you need to use common toilets. So, carry enough toilet papers, soap napkins, etc. with you. You may get a warm water bottle for toilet use at an additional cost.
- Many times weather conditions hamper the return helicopter. Be prepared to stay at Panchtarni on the same day.
- Before you start the trek, decide the meeting point with your group in case anyone gets lost/departed.
- Each group member must have all the printouts of the helicopter tickets, other accommodation vouchers.
- Mobile phones do not work in Baltal, Panchtarani, and Cave areas. Only the BSNL network works that too sometimes. There are no Local/STD/ISD booths. Remember to carry roaming enabled BSNL SIM cards from your hometown with you.
Things to Carry for Amarnath Yatra
- Warm clothes & Woolen caps and socks
- Windcheater Jacket
- Sunscreen and an insect repellent
- Waterproof shoes and a raincoat
- Trekking stick
- Reusable water bottle
- First aid kit for emergency situations
- Torch with an extra battery
- Hand sanitizer and a hand wash
Where to stay during Amarnath yatra
In Pahalgam, you can stay at the base camp in Nunwan. Tents on per night per person basis housing 10-12 people are available along the way at the night stops. Quilts, pillows, mattresses, and kerosene oil lanterns are provided. Hot water is given at an extra cost.
If not, some of the places to stay in Pahalgam during Amarnath Yatra are -
- Grand Mumtaz Resorts
- Hotel Ramba Palace Resorts
- Hotel Kohinoor
- Golf View Resort
Baltal- Huts are available at Baltal, Manigaon, Panjtarni, and Holy Cave. There are some makeshift toilets but most yards manage in the open.
Otherwise, some places you can stay in Balta during Amarnath Yatra are -
- Hotel Mountview Sonamarg
- Eden Resorts and Spa
- The Chinar Resort & Spa
- Forest Hill Resorts
Where to Eat during the Amarnath Yatra
Langars or free food is available on the entire trek. You can consume paranthas, milk, biscuits, rotis, dal, rice, sweets, dosa, tea, and bread. Also, essential medication and some free accommodation and sanitation facilities are offered. These langars are found at the Amarnath route's significant stops.
When to go for Amarnath Yatra:
The best time to go for Amarnath Yatra is from July to August. The dates of this yatra change as per the lunar cycle. Moreover, Amarnath Yatra is open for two months and terminates on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan day).
The Amarnath weather is unpredictable. Rain or snow can happen anytime during the yatra. The weather is freezing, so cover yourself with warm clothes.
Amarnath Yatra Group Registration
Amarnath Yatra Registration is a necessary process that must be fulfilled by every pilgrim looking forward to the darshan of Shri Amarnathji. Another name of Lord Shiva, Amarnath, beckons pilgrims to His holy cave in Jammu and Kashmir. Registration is mandatory to visit the sacred site. All the registrations for Shri Amarnath Yatra 2023 are made against a prescribed registration form. Authorized Institutions/ doctors for issuing Compulsory Health Certificates (CHC) for Shri Amarnath Yatra 2023 are constantly updated and are available online. Since 2014, the shrine board has started 'group registration' for a specific date for those intending to travel in a group comprising their family, friends, relatives, or neighbors.
There are other names for Amarnath yatra Registration, such as Yatra Registration Pass, Darshan pass, Yatra Permit (YP), Amarnath Panjikaran, Entry pass, entry ticket, Sarvadarshanam Pass, Amarnath Temple Booking Ticket, Helicopter Registration, and Bank Registration. The advisories and guidelines issued by Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board are clear and inform yatris about every step of the registration process. Here, we will see the procedure for Amarnath Yatra group registration 2023. Following are the Guidelines for Group Registration for Shri Amarnath Yatra:
For Yatra 2023, CHCs (Compulsory Health Certificates) issued only after defined date by SASB (Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board) would be valid for registration purposes.
1. Registration is done on a first-come-first-serve basis. It is subject to date wise and route wise vacancies (registration quota/ slots) available for a particular day/ particular route. These are subject to a maximum of 50 registrations per group per day per route.
2. If vacancies (registration quota/slots) are unavailable for a particular date for which the Group seeks Amarnath Yatra registration 2023, the Group Leader (one of the intending pilgrims of the group) will be contacted by phone and informed about the next available Group Registration slot. If the Group Leader doesn’t accept it, application forms, CHCs, and the registration fee shall be returned to the Group Leader through a registered post. If the Group Leader agrees for registration for a date when quota is available, the same will be done and sent to him through a registered post.
3. Yatris will be allowed to take on Yatra only on the day and route for which they have been registered.
4. There are instances when those who want to go for the yatra in a group of 5 or more members are unable to obtain Yatra Permits from the nearest located Bank Branches. It happens because the allocated number of vacancies (registration quota/ slots) have been over. So for Amarnath Yatra registration, the group members can individually apply by Registered Post to the Chief Executive Officer, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, Chaitanya Ashram, Talab Tillo, Jammu and K-Villa Sohrawardy House, Shiv Pora, Srinagar.
5. To apply for the Yatra Permit under 'Group Registration Facility', the Group Leader has to send the following documents in respect of each group member: by registered post at:
- Duly filled prescribed application forms
- Original copies of the prescribed Compulsory Health Certificates (CHCs) issued by the authorized doctor/ medical institutions
- Four passport size photographs, one of which is to be signed on the front side
- Last year yatra registration fee @ Rs.150/- per Yatri
- Mailing address of the group leader, along with mobile number, and e-mail ID
- Postal charges for last year as per scale mentioned below:
|No of pilgrims in a group||Postal charges last year|
|1 to 5||INR 50|
|6 to 10||INR 100|
|11 to 15||INR 150|
|16 to 20||INR 200|
|21 to 25||INR 250|
|26 to 30||INR 300|
6. The amount payable to the SASB (Yatra registration fee and postal charges) shall be sent through Bank Draft drawn in favor of Chief Accounts Officer, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board.
7. Those below the age of 13 years or above the age of 75 years can’t get Amaranth Yatra registration. Similarly, women who are more than six weeks pregnant can’t get registration for the Yatra.
8. Chief Executive Officer, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, shall not be responsible for any postal delay.
Registration Procedure for NRI/ ex-India Pilgrims
Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board has the authority to enable NRI/ ex-India for Shri Amarnath Yatra registration. This facility is specially established considering a large number of devotees living abroad who want to undertake this annual Yatra. Following is the procedure for Registration of NRI/ex-India pilgrims:
1. To register for Shri Amarnathji Yatra 2023, an ex-India pilgrim should send scanned copies of the following documents to a designated officer:
- Filled-in prescribed application forms Compulsory Health Certificate (issued by National Health Services of the country concerned after an announced date in 2023)
- Scanned photograph of the applicant
- Registration of INR 500 per yatri (to be deposited to the designated bank)
2. The intending pilgrim will have the choice of collecting the Yatra Permit from the selected branch of the designated bank located at Jammu or Srinagar. This choice shall be indicated by the pilgrim in his/ her forwarding email.
3. Registration of ex-India pilgrims shall be subject to availability of registration quota for the preferred day and route.
4. The Security Manager of the designated bank will inform the pilgrim via email whether they have been registered for the Yatra. The location of the bank branch at Jammu/ Srinagar will also be informed to the yatri to collect the Yatra Permit.
SASB has the design and layout of Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra Permit Registration Forms. These have several high-security features to be safe from being duplicated by unlawful elements.
Frequently Asked Questions - Amarnath Yatra
Ans: Amarnath Yatra starts from 1st July to 31st August 2023.
Ans: The Amarnath Yatra registrations date are staring from 17th April 2023.
Ans: The last date of Amarnath Yatra Registration is 21st August 2023.
Ans: Most devotees prefer the longer route i.e. Pahalgam - Amarnath route. The length of the trek varies from 36 km to 48 km. Pilgrims can choose as per their stamina and devotion. The Pahalgam route is wider than the Baltal and has a gradual slope. That is why, Pahalgam route is considered better than Baltal.
Ans: The Panchtarni helipad to Amarnath cave is approximately 6 km away. You can either trek, take a pony ride, or palki to reach the cave.
Ans: You can go to Amarnath Cave via Baltal through trekking or a riding a helicopter. Trekking takes 1-2 days (14 km) and en route you can also ride a pony/palki or take a pithhoo. Though shorter than Pahalgam, this route is arduous and thus, less taken.
Ans: You can go to Amarnath Cave via Pahalgam by trekking that takes 3-5 days. Though, this is a longer route, yet most of the devotees prefer this over Baltal route. The reason is that the former is wide and has gradual slopes. Additionally, sick and elderly can easily travel through this route. You can also reach there by helicopter or take pony, pithoos, or palki.
Ans: From Baltal, ponies cost INR 2700, pithoos cost INR 1400, and palkis cost INR 9000. The cost of each medium is per person.
Ans: The best time to visit Amarnath is from June to August. During this time, temperature ranges between 09-34 degrees celcius and the weather remains comfortable.
Ans: The cost of Amarnath Yatra is approx INR 4500 to INR 7000 per person for the round trip, depending upon the route (Baltal and Pahalgam).
By Helicopter, Yatra cost breakup is as follows –
- Round trip helicopter services (Neelgrath – Panchtarni - Neelgrath) - INR 3606 per person
- One way helicopter services (Neelgrath -Panchtarni) – INR 1803 per person
- One way helicopter services (Panchtarni-Neelgrath) – INR 1803 per person
*Prices are subject to change
Ans: Amarnath is considered an abode of Lord Shiva. It is considered the most sacred pilgrimage site of Lord Shiva in India.
Ans: Famous attractions en route Amarnath via Pahalgam are -
- Amarnath Cave
- Baltal Valley
- Sheshnag Lake
- Zoji La Pass
Ans: No, visa is not required for Amarnath Yatra.
Ans: The age limit for Amarnath Yatra is between 13 years and 70 years. Children below 13 years and senior citizens of 70 years and above are not allowed for Amarnath Yatra. Six weeks pregnant ladies are also not allowed.
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