Hindu Of Universe

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

The Amarnath Yatra is an annual Hindu pilgrimage to the holy Amarnath Cave in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India.

The pilgrimage is dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts thousands of devotees from different parts of India and around the world.

The Amarnath Cave, situated at an altitude of approximately 3,880 meters (12,700 feet) in the Himalayas, is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva revealed the secret of immortality and the creation of the universe to Goddess Parvati. Inside the cave, a naturally formed ice stalagmite, called the “Holy Lingam,” represents Lord Shiva.

The pilgrimage takes place during the summer months, typically from July to August, as the cave remains accessible due to the melting of ice.

Pilgrims undertake a challenging journey through mountainous terrain, braving harsh weather conditions and high altitudes, to reach the sacred cave.

The pilgrimage usually starts from either the traditional Pahalgam route or the shorter Baltal route.

The Pahalgam route is longer and more scenic, while the Baltal route is relatively shorter but more steep and challenging.

The trek involves walking long distances, often with the assistance of ponies or palanquins.

Devotees undertake the Amarnath Yatra with deep faith and devotion, seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva and a glimpse of the Holy Lingam inside the cave.

The pilgrimage is considered a sacred and spiritually significant journey for Hindu devotees, and it holds immense religious and cultural importance in India.

The Amarnath Yatra is regulated and managed by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), a statutory body set up by the government of Jammu and Kashmir, to ensure the smooth conduct of the pilgrimage and the safety of the pilgrims.

The SASB provides necessary facilities, medical assistance, and security arrangements along the yatra routes.

It’s important to note that the Amarnath Yatra involves a demanding and physically challenging trek at high altitudes, and it’s advisable for participants to be adequately prepared, physically fit, and equipped with appropriate clothing and gear.

Amarnath Yatra

The holy shrine of Amarnath Ji, or Amarnath Temple, is located at an elevation of 3,888 meters approx, about 29 kilometers from Pahalgam.

Inside the cave is a Shiva Lingam (a phallus shaped formation made of ice), considered to be the most holy symbol by Hindus all across the globe.

Devotees visit it in large numbers from June to August, with the pilgrimage tour famously known as Amarnath Yatra, which begins from Chandanwari.

It is considered to be one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas, or the holiest shrines in Hinduism.

Besides seeking blessings at the Amarnath Temple, the views surrounding it are extraordinary.

Mythology of Amarnath Cave

The place where the Amarnath Cave stands today is believed to be the same place where Lord Shiva explained the meaning of life and eternity to his consort & wife, Goddess Parvati.

According to legends, Bhrigu Muni, a famous sage in Hinduism, was the first person to have discovered this holy site.

At that time, the entire Kashmir Valley was submerged under water, and Kashyap Muni, another powerful sage, drained the waters with his divine powers.

As the waters cleared, Bhrigu Muni was the first person to have the site of the Shiva Lingam.

Top Things to Do in Amarnath

  • Seek the divine blessings at Amarnath Temple
  • Enjoy the sights surrounding you

How to Reach Amarnath Cave?

You can hire a private vehicle from Jammu to Pahalgam & Baltal, state transport buses are also available.

There are two trekking routes to reach Amarnath Cave, the shorter one via Baltal & the traditional one which passes through Srinagar.

You can also avoid the long difficult trek and opt for taking Amarnath Yatra by helicopter.

Via Baltal

The shorter route starts from Chandanwari base in Pahalgam & goes through Baltal, Domial, Barari & Sangam.

It is 14 kilometers long & allows you to complete the trip in 1-2 days.

You can either walk or hire a palki (a seat carried on the shoulders of people).

Via Pahalgam

The route to Amarnath Cave via Pahalgam is the longer route & takes 3-5 days one way.

This route is much wider than the Baltal route & is easily covered by the pilgrims.

You can also hire ponies for the entire distance all the way to the Amarnath Temple.

Reaching Amarnath by Helicopter

You can also reach Amarnath Temple via a helicopter ride.

After arriving in Srinagar, drive up to Baltal & board the helicopter which will take you up to Panchtarni.

From Panchtarni, you will have to trek only for about 6 kilometers, or you can hire a palki/horse ride.

Best Time to Take Amarnath Yatra

Amarnath Yatra starts from June and ends in August.

Things to Know Before Going on Amarnath Yatra

  • You will have to complete online registration before taking the Amarnath Yatra. You will have to fill out an application form which can be downloaded online, where you will be required to enter your details like full name, gender, address, state & mobile number.
  • Registration will commence from all bank branches.
  • Carry enough toilet paper, soap napkins.
  • Remember to carry two pairs of shoes & enough socks.
  • To maintain energy, carry adequate chocolates, apples, dry fruits & cheese cubes.
  • Remember to carry medicines like anti allergic tablets, painkillers, crocin etc.
  • Carry enough warm clothes with you.
  • You will also have to buy pre activated SIM cards at the base camp of Baltal & Nunwan.
  • Improve your physical fitness by doing physical exercises before taking the Amarnath Yatra.
  • No one below 13 years of age and no one above 75 years of age can take the Amarnath Yatra.

There are numerous legends related to the Amarnath Cave.

Among them, there is a most famous legend, which depicts that Lord Shiva has chosen this place to share the secret of immortality and the process of formation of the universe with Goddess Parvati.

He shared the story with Goddess Parvati about why he wears a bead of heads and what it implies.

He told her that the head in the bead increases every time she is reborn.

To this, Goddess Parvati asked about the reason behind Lord Shiva’s immortality.

He told her that she demanded to hear Amar Katha, which is a difficult task to listen for a human in one go and without sleeping.

She keeps insisting on Lord Shiva narrating the story, and then after a long time, he agrees to tell her the story at this place.

For this, he was looking for a lonely place where no one could hear the story except for Mata Parvati.

On the way to Amarnath Cave, he left all these belongings en route, including his snake at Sheshnag Lake,

Nandi bull at Pahalgam, his moon at Chandanwari, his son at Mahagunas Parvat, and at Panjtarni he left his five elements (Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Sky).

Lord Shiva entered the holy cave with Goddess Parvati, sat on the deerskin, and took a Samadhi.

To ensure that there was no one in the cave, he created a Rudra named Kalagni and ordered him to set the cave ablaze so that everything living there will be destroyed.

He then started narrating the story of immortality to the Goddess Parvati.

But, Lord Shiva was unaware that there was an egg that remained protected under the deerskin on which the Lord was sitting.

A pair of pigeons were born out of that egg and allegedly became immortal after listening to the story while in the egg form.

Significance of Amarnath Temple

The most prominent feature of Amarnath Cave Temple is the Shiva Lingam, which is 40 m inside the cave.

It is formed due to the dripping of freezing water from the cave’s ceiling and grows vertically on the cave floor to form the Lingam.

Significance of Amarnath Temple

The most prominent feature of Amarnath Cave Temple is the Shiva Lingam, which is 40 m inside the cave.

It is formed due to the dripping of freezing water from the cave’s ceiling and grows vertically on the cave floor to form the Lingam.

As per scientific terms, it is a stalagmite.

As per Hindu mythology, the Lingam comprises the mythical energy of Lord Shiva.

It is believed that the Shiva Lingam grows and shrinks as per the phase of the Moon, although there is no scientific proof for the same.

Apart from the main Linga, two other ice formations can be seen in the cave, which is believed to be Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha.

Now, you have gained knowledge about the religious and mythological significance of Amarnath Yatra.

As Amarnath Cave is where Lord Shiva narrates the Amar Katha or story of immortality to Goddess Parvati, it is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for devotees.

Plan your pilgrimage to Amarnath cave and witness the spiritual charm of Baba Barfaani.

This serene place’s breathtaking landscape and mystical vibes can leave anyone captivated and awe-struck.

Significance of Amarnath Temple

As you already know there is a block of ice formed Shivling inside the Amarnath Cave. On one hand, science says that it has been formed due to the dripping of ice from the roof of the cave, the Hindus believe that it is the presence of Lord Shiva in the form of a Lingam.

Not only this but it is also believed that this Lingam expands and contracts according to the phases of the moon.

Though, there is no scientific proof till now.

Along with Shivling, you can also witness two other ice formations which are said to be of Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha.

Amarnath Temple History 

It is said that there was a shepherd named Buta Malik who first discovered the cave. However, there is a mention of Amarnath Temple (Amareshwar) in the book “Rajatarangini” and people believe that Queen Suryamathi gave a present of Trishul, banalingas, and sacred emblems to Amarnath Temple back in the 11th century AD.

And when in the 15th century, Buta Malik rediscovered the cave, the story of Quess Suryamthi was disremembered.

With that being said, Buta Malik received a bag full of coal from a saint and when he got back home, he was surprised to see gold coins instead of coal.

He was grateful but overwhelmed.

And to say thank you to the saint he went back to the place where he met him but found the cave with Shivling inside instead.

This led to the discovery of Amarnath Cave.

From then onwards, it became a major place for pilgrimage among Hindus.

There are some other epics that tell a different story.

It says that the valley of Kashmir was underwater and Kashyap Rishi drained it through various rivers and rivulets.

During the same timeline, Bhrigu Rishi visited the Himalayas and was the first to have the darshan of the holy Amarnath Cave.

When villagers heard about this, it quickly became Shiva’s abode and a center of pilgrimage.

Since then, a large number of devotees undertook the Amarnath Yatra through rugged terrain to seek eternal happiness.

Amarnath Temple Story 

Many tourists who visit Amarnath Temple wonder what is the mythology behind Amarnath Cave.

Well, as per a Hindu legend, it is believed that when Parvati asked Shiva for the secret of life and eternity.

At first, he refused but she insisted, so he decided to reveal the secret to her.

He left Mount Kailash along with Goddess Parvati and left his belongings at various places.

For instance, Nandi, the Bull at Pahalgam, the Moon from hair at Chandanwari, and snakes on the banks of Lake Sheshnag. Lord Ganesha was left at Mahagunas Parvat also called Mahaganesh Mountain.

Plus, the five elements of nature – Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Sky were left at Panchtarni.

As he sacrificed his belongings, he performed the Tandava Dance.

And later, enter the cave with Parvati.

To ensure no one was listening, he created fire to demolish all the life around him.

But a pigeon under Lord Shiva remained and heard the secret of immortality.

They were born and even today, devotees who visit Amarnath Temple can see a pair of pigeons inside the cave nesting.

And because the secret of immortality was told here by Lord Shiva, the cave was called Amarnath.

Shiva followers thus, take the Amarnath Yatra with true hearts and feelings and present to Lord Shivain hope of righteous living, health, prosperity, and purity of the sins. Families, friends, and companions are often seen traveling together to Amarnath Temple in Jammu and Kashmir despite it being 36 to 48 km long and difficult to enlighten themselves by Shiva’s true light.

Amarnath Yatra is organized every year but in  , it will be starting on 1st July and will end on 31 August due to Sawan Purnima.

There are 2 routes – Pahalgam and Baltal you can choose to go on.

This can be covered in 4 to 5 days (Pahalgam) or 2 to 3 days (Baltal).

Most devotees prefer the longer and more traditional route from Srinagar though.

Elderly citizens can choose to ride on a horse too.

If you want to go on Amarnath Yatra in, click here to know about the registration dates and book Amarnath yatra packages by Tourism of India for a hassle-free spiritual journey.

The Legend and the Belief of Amarnath Yatra

As per the beliefs, the Amarnath Cave is where God Shiva was narrating Amar Katha to Goddess Parvati and wanted to keep it a secret.

Therefore, he left all his companions behind.

His riding friend – Nandi, the bull – was left at Pahalgam, the moon atop his head at Chandanwari, the snake around his neck at Lake Sheshnag, the 5 basic essentials of life that he carried at Panchtarini and even his son- Lord Ganesha himself- at Mahaguna top.

When he finished the narration, he realized that Goddess Parvati has actually fallen asleep and a parrot was listening all this while.

This infuriated the Lord and he threw his Trishul to kill the parrot.

To save himself, the parrot entered the womb of the saint’s wife.

The baby was later born to become a famous sage.
Number of devotees allowed per day: 1500 (7500 each on two decided routes)
Age limit: 14 to 74 years

Safety guidelines for Amarnath Yatra

For safety reasons, children below 13 years, elderly aged above 75 years and ladies more than 6 weeks pregnant are not allowed to take this spiritual journey.

How to Reach Amarnath

There are two Amarnath Yatra routes that pilgrims can take to travel Amarnath Cave and both these routes are well connected from all the major cities for easy connectivity. To start from Srinagar or Pahalgam, one will have to trek to a height of more than 14,000 feet.

Hence, being physically fit and mentally prepared for the journey is a must. The two routes to Amarnath Yatra are:

Yatra from Baltal to Amarnath Cave:
It is the most popular and shortest route to reach the cave.

The region of Baltal is 14 km from the Cave and allows people to only walk.

Ponies are not allowed.

However, one can be carried on ‘Dandies’.

The trek via Baltal usually takes 1-2 days to complete.

This route is advised to be taken by the people who are young, healthy and looking for some adventure amidst the religious trip.

Yatra from Pahalgam to Amarnath Cave:
This is the most preferable route and is around 47 km from the main Amarnath Cave Site.

The first step of Yatra starts at Chandanwari which is 16 km from the Pahalgam base camp and is at 9,500 feet.

Then there is Pissu top, which is 3 km away and located at 11,000 ft, Shesnag – 9 km from Pissu top at 11,730 ft, followed by the Panjtarni-12 km ahead and located at 12,000 feet.

Pilgrims who cannot walk this far can opt for Helicopter services easily available for it.

The trek usually takes 3-5 days one way to complete.

How to Register for Amarnath Yatra  

To register for Amarnath Yatra permit, one is required to submit Application Form and Compulsory Health Certificate (CHC) issued by the Authorized Institutions / Doctors by SASB online.
Note: Application Form and Health Certificate are available free of cost at the various Registration Branch.

Requirements for Amarnath Yatra

For people planning for Amarnath Yatra, make sure you complete all the formalities.

It is imperative to register for the Amarnath Yatra and to get registered, make sure you fulfill the below requirements.
1. All pilgrims/travellers planning to avail helicopter services for Amarnath Yatra are required to obtain a medical fitness certificate from a doctor authorized by SASB (Amarnath Shrine Board), which certifies your fitness for the physically tough journey.
2. Other Important documents you must have during the Yatra include Voter ID, Driving License, and Passport etc for your identity.

Facilities at Shri Amarnath Yatra

Best possible facilities are made available for the devotees with the efforts of the Indian Army, Central Government and State Government Police Forces along with NGOs and government provided services.

There are stalls and resting camps (pandals) with a continuous supply of food.

The successful organization of the Yatra is majorly done by Shri Amarnath Yatra trust which provides facilities like power supply, telecommunication, firewood etc.

Helicopter facilities from base camp to Panjtarni (6 km from the cave) are also available from various private operators.

Amarnath Weather

The climate in Amarnath fluctuates quite frequently. Looking at the weather in Amarnath, the temperature will range between 9-34 degrees Celsius during the yatra.

Amarnath Yatra Dates  

This year, The Amarnath Yatra will start on 29 June   and will finish on 03 August  . The 36-day Yatra will accommodate over 3.5 lakh pilgrims.

Amarnath Yatra

Amarnath Yatra is one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages, undertaken by lakhs of pilgrims every year to the holy Amarnath Cave in Kashmir in the month of Shravan (July-August).

Since Amarnath Yatra is an important annual pilgrimage for the Hindus, special arrangements for the pilgrims are made during the time of the Yatra.

There is a dedicated shrine board that organizes and manages the annual Amarnath Yatra. We have shared more information about this holy pilgrimage, its history, its significance, and its route here.

Amarnath Yatra  

Every year, lakhs of pilgrims travel from all parts of India to the Amarnath Cave in Kashmir.

Amarnath Yatra   will be organized in the month of July to August, when pilgrims will walk to the cave to express their devotion to the Hindu gods.

This yatra is an annual tradition in India in which a significant number of people participate.

The Amarnath Shrine Board released the official schedule and route for the annual pilgrimage. Since it is a popular pilgrimage site,

Amarnath witnesses thousands of devotees each year.

We have shared more details about the pilgrimage here.

Pilgrimage     Amarnath Yatra

Held    July to August

Organized By            Amarnath Shrine Board

Significance Devotees express their devotion towards Lord Shiva by participating in the yatra.

Amarnath Yatra – History

Amarnath Yatra is a pilgrimage to the Amarnath Cave, which being 5000 years old, is the most ancient cave shrine in the world.

According to Hindu mythology, it came into being when Lord Shiva’s third eye emitted a fireball, striking a hill and creating a deep chasm, now known as the Amarnath Cave.

It finds mention in several religious texts, including the Mahabharata, Puranas, and Aryabhatta’s Rajavalipataka.

Every year, thousands of people participate in the Amarnath Yatra to show their devotion to Lord Shiva. We have shared more details about the history of Amarnath Yatra here –

Story behind the Amarnath Cave

The Cave has derived its name from the words “Amar” meaning immortal and “Nath” meaning Lord.

It signifies the place where Lord Shiva revealed to Goddess Parvati the secret of his immortality, i.e., the “Amar Katha“.

Every devotee who participates in the Amarnath Yatra must know the story behind the name of the cave.

Discovery of the Amarnath Cave

The Cave is said to have been discovered in the 15th century by a Muslim shepherd called Buta Malik.

As per the mythical tale, the shepherd once lost track of his herd of sheep and while searching for them, met an old saint.

The saint handed him a bag full of charcoal which turned into gold by the time Buta Malik reached home.

The next day, he returned to the spot where he met the saint to thank him, but in its place found the Amarnath Cave.

What’s inside the Amarnath Cave?

Amarnath Yatra pilgrims are always curious about what’s inside the Amarnath Cave. The Cave comprises an ice stalagmite that resembles a Shiva Lingam.

Water dripping from the roof of the Cave accumulates and freezes to form the ice Lingam, which attains its full-fledged form on the day of Shravan Poornima.

The lingam is thus self-manifesting and is called a Swayambhu Lingam.

There are two other ice lingams representing Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha.

Amarnath Yatra Route

The route of the Amarnath Yatra begins from Pahalgam in Srinagar.

The shrine of the Amarnath Cave is situated at the end of the Lidder Valley in Kashmir.

It stands at an elevation of 3,888 m.

The distance of the shrine of the Amarnath Yatra is 141 km from Srinagar and 45 km from Pahalgam.

Traditionally, people used to follow the Amarnath Yatra route from Srinagar however, now, people also take the Pahalgam route to the yatra.

The Amarnath Yatra is completed in a span of 4-5 days.

Amarnath Yatra Facts

  • The Amarnath Yatra is undertaken during the month of Shravan, during a 45-day season, because that is when the Shiva lingam reaches its apex form.
  • The Amarnath Yatra is organized by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), constituted by the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature through the enactment of the SASB Act,  . They facilitate the registration of pilgrims on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • Pilgrims must be between the ages of 13 and 75 to be eligible to undertake the Yatra. They must also provide a Compulsory Health Certificate (CHC) from an institution authorized by the SASB.
  • There are two routes to Amarnath Cavethe one via Pahalgam is a 43km trek while the Batal route is an 11km trek but quite steep. Alternatively, pilgrims can also use helicopter services, pony rides, or palkis.

Amarnath Yatra’s history is sacred in the Hindu religion, making the pilgrimage highly sought after.

As a result, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board has attempted to improve the experience by facilitating helicopter and better car services.

The Yatra is undertaken by lakhs of pilgrims each year and is a major source of revenue for Kashmir.

FAQs on Amarnath Yatra

Q.1. When will the Amarnath Yatra   begin?

Amarnath Yatra starts during the month of July every year. However, those who want to participate in the yatra have to register themselves with the Amarnath Shrine Board. The registrations for the yatra typically begin in the month of April.

Q2. What is the significance of Amarnath Yatra?

Amarnath Yatra is significant in the history of Hindu mythology. According to the history, it is believed that Lord Shiva revealed the secret of life and eternity to his divine consort, Goddess Parvati, in the Amarnath Cave. Every year, thousands of pilgrims go to the Amarnath Yatra.

Q.3. How long does it take to complete the Amarnath Yatra?

It can take anywhere between three to five days to complete the Amarnath Yatra.

The time taken to complete the yatra differs from person to person based on their speed of travel and their mode of travel (walk, helicopter, cabs, etc.).

Q.4. What are the documents required for Amarnath Yatra?

Every applicant for the Amarnath Yatra must submit the application form, along with CHC and four passport-sized photographs.

The registration for the Amarnath Yatra begins as early as in the month of April at the Amarnath Shrine Board.

The Origins and History

Ancient Reverence

The roots of the Amarnath Yatra stretch back into the annals of Hindu mythology. According to the sacred texts,

it is believed that Lord Shiva chose the secluded Amarnath Cave to disclose the secret of immortality to his divine consort Parvati.

The enigmatic formation within the cave, an ice stalagmite, symbolizes this sacred revelation.

As such, the cave has evolved into a site of deep veneration, drawing countless pilgrims seeking blessings and a connection with the divine.

Centuries-Old Tradition

The Amarnath Yatra is not merely a ritual; it’s an age-old tradition that has weathered the test of time.

Its origins can be traced to the era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who fostered the pilgrimage during his reign.

Through the ages, the yatra has grown from a regional event to a national phenomenon, attracting devotees from every corner of India and beyond.

This journey, which stretches for around 42 kilometers, is more than a physical endeavor; it’s a spiritual odyssey that binds generations together in their devotion to Lord Shiva.

The Fascinating Story

The Icy Shiva Lingam

Central to the allure of the Amarnath Cave is the formation of an ice stalagmite that closely resembles the revered Shiva Lingam.

This natural wonder, considered a divine manifestation, appears as though Lord Shiva himself is present in the cave.

What adds to the mystique is the ice Lingam’s cyclical growth and diminution, synchronized with the waxing and waning of the moon.

The full moon marks the pinnacle of its size, attracting throngs of pilgrims who believe that a glimpse of the ice Lingam brings them closer to their spiritual aspirations.

The Challenging Terrain

The path to the Amarnath Cave is not for the faint-hearted.

Pilgrims undertake an arduous trek through rugged terrain, traversing steep mountains and enduring extreme weather conditions.

The journey, which typically takes several days, tests the physical and mental endurance of each devotee.

Yet, the trials are embraced willingly, as the difficulties of the journey are seen as a metaphor for life’s challenges, with the ultimate reward being a deepened connection with the divine.

The Profound Significance

Spiritual Purification

The Amarnath Yatra is not just a physical journey; it’s a quest for spiritual purification and enlightenment.

Devotees believe that undertaking this pilgrimage absolves them of their sins and helps them attain salvation.

The challenging conditions and sacrifices made during the journey are viewed as acts of devotion and penance, leading to a sense of spiritual upliftment.

Cultural and Social Unity

The yatra transcends religious boundaries and unites people from various walks of life. It’s a remarkable spectacle of communal harmony, where individuals come together in their shared devotion.

The yatra fosters a sense of unity, highlighting the cultural diversity and secular fabric of India.

The Enduring Importance

Preserving Heritage

The Amarnath Yatra plays a vital role in preserving India’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage.

It serves as a living link to ancient traditions and offers a glimpse into the country’s profound spiritual legacy.

The pilgrimage acts as a bridge between generations, passing down beliefs and stories from one era to the next.

Boosting Tourism

Apart from its spiritual significance, the Amarnath Yatra also contributes significantly to the region’s economy.

The pilgrimage attracts a substantial number of tourists and pilgrims, boosting local businesses and livelihoods.

It’s a prime example of how faith and tourism can go hand in hand, benefiting both spiritual seekers and the local community.

History of Amarnath – The Real Story of Amarnath Temple

One of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages, Amarnath is worldwide famous for the natural formation of Shiva Linga from the snow.

This divine Yatra to the holy cave is opened only in the months of Shravan i.e. July and August as these are the only months when it is quite easy to access the holy cave.

This revered pilgrimage of Lord Shiva or Baba Bholenath is perched at an elevation of 3888 meters above the sea level and around 121 km away from the capital city of the state.

It is believed to be one of the holiest shrines in India which plays an important part in Hinduism and is also believed that the Lingam fades after the Shravan month with the changes in the phases of the moon.


A very popular legend states that Goddess Parvati demanded from Lord Shiva to reveal the secrets of the precious life and death but he didn’t want anybody to hear this secret. So, they decided to hit for the cave in the mountains as it could be quite difficult to be accessed by any common person and even for the gods also.

Lord Shiva wanted to keep the secret between them only so they left all his companions and belongings on the way itself.

For example, Nandi which was his ride was left behind at Pahalgam, the moon which was adorned on the top of his head was left at Chandanwadi, the snake which he used to wrap around his neck was left at Shesh Nag, and at last the five basic elements of life which he had carried were left at Panchtarni.

They even left his son Lord Ganesha at Mahaguna top and all these left belongings and companions are found by the devotees en route the mountainous trek.

Historical Account

The name of this divine cave is comprised of two segments i.e. Amar which means immortal and Nath which means Lord.

The name only suggests that this is the immortal place where Lord Shiva revealed the secret of life and death to his wife Goddess Parvati.

The religious significance of Amareshwara or Amarnath can be referred from Rajatarangini.

There is a belief that in the 11th century, Queen Suryamathi presented this temple with Trishula, various sacred emblems, and banalingas.

There is a piece of very detailed information about the historical accounts of this holy cave in Rajavalipataka which was started by Aryabhatta.

There are several other religious texts where religious significance has been mentioned.

Discovery of Amarnath Cave

According to a Hindu belief, this divine cave was found by Buta Malik who was a shepherd.

The story goes like this that the shepherd once met with a saint here and that saint sent him a bag full of coal.

When he reached home and opened the bag he got surprised because the coal bag had been transformed into the bag filled with gold coins. He wanted to thank that saint and went to the same place where he had met with the shepherd but he couldn’t find him and there was a shrine established at that place. Since then the place has been named as Amarnath shrine. Amarnath Yatra One of the most important events during July/ August is Amarnath Yatra to the Holy Pilgrimage. This is an annual event when thousands of Hindus from different corners of the Globe visit Amarnath caves. The pilgrims trek from Pahalgam to these caves and worship the great ice Lingam.

Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in a cave in Amarnath. Unknow to them, a pair of mating doves eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the doves-pair when they trek the ardous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).

This is an event you certainly will talk about for the rest of your life.

July is time for the annual Amarnath Yatra one of the most sacred and popular pilgrimages to the holy snow-clad cave shrine of Lord Shiva in the beautiful northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. Of all Hindu pilgrimages, Amarnath situated at an altitude of 3,880 metres in the southern Kashmir Himalayas is considered one of the holiest.

Darshan at the Holy Cave is generally open from early July (Ashad Purnima) to early August (Sharvan Purnima). In  , the pilgrimage started on July 4, and in its first week drew more than 10,000 pilgrims for the darshan of the naturally-formed ice Shiva Lingam at the holy cave shrine, according to official records. Since July 2 onwards, 3,500 pilgrims set off daily from the base camp in Jammu to Amarnath. The yatra or pilgrimage that year concluded on August 4, the day of the “Raksha Bandhan” festival.  YATRA JUNE TO AUGUST HELICOPTER  & HUT ACCOMMODATION  The Legend Yatra There is famous Rigvedic Verse that says “Ekam Sat ” that is “There is one Being ,the sages call Him by many names.” The  God (Parmeshwar) has three deities who carry on the world . This is Known as Holy Trinity. Brahma- the creator, Vishnu – the perpetuator of life and Shiva (Mahesh ) -the purifier and perpetuator of good and destroyer of evil. Rig Veda refer Shiva as Rudra as in its following verse .  “We Worship Tryambaka (Rudra) , Who spread Fragrance and Increases Nourishment , May He release me ,like the cucumber from its stem , From Mortal Life , But not From Immorality . “(Rig Veda Mandal VII Sukta 59 and Mantra 12)
The Yajurveda describes Shiva as ascetic warrior Whose robe is of Deer Skin  and He carries Trishul . 
According to the verse Satyam, Shivam ,Sundaram ,the life is described as having three facets Truth (Satyam), Good (Shivam) and the Beautiful (Sundaram).
Shiva is a living God. The most Sacred and  ancient books of India, the Rig Veda narrates His presence in the hymns. Vedic myths, rituals and even astronomy testifies to His existence from the dawn of time . The Mohindaro and Harapa findings confirm Shiva worship in the ancient India. According to the older scriptures, He has three places  of His residence. One is  Kailash Parvat another  is Lohit Giri under which Brahamputra flows and third is Muzwan Parvat . 
 The Amarnath Cave has special significance .
The  Legend about the  importance of Amarnath Cave is as follows :-
This is The Cave which was chosen by Bhole Shankar  for narrating the secrets of immortality and creation of Universe  to Maa Parvati ji .   The story goes like this  .   Centuries ago Maa Parvati asked Shiv ji  to  let her know why and when  He  started wearing the beads of heads ( Mund Mala)  .   Bhole Shankar replied when ever you are born  I add one more head in my beads .  Maa Parvati said ,”  My Lord, my body is destroyed every time  and I die again and again, but you are Immortal. Please let me know the secret of this .” Bhole Shankar replied that it is due to Amar Katha .”
Maa Parvati insisted that she may be told that secret.  For long Shiva ji continued postponing .   Finally on consistent demand from Maa Parvati He made up his mind to tell the immortal secret . He started  for lonely  place  where  no living  being  could  listen  it .  He choose Amarnath Cave .  In preparation to that He left His Nandi ( The Bull which He used to ride )  at Pahalgam (Bail gaon) .  At Chandanwari He released Moon from his hairs (Jataon). At the banks of Lake Sheshnag He released the snakes.  He decided to leave his Son Ganesha at Mahagunas Parvat (Mahaganesh Hill ) . At Panjtarni, Shivji  left the Five Elements behind (Earth , Water, Air , Fire and Sky)  which make living being . He is the Lord of these elements.  It is believed that as a symbol of sacrificing the earthly world , Shivaji and  Maa Parvati  had Tandav Dance . After leaving behind all these, Bhole Shankar enters the Holy Amarnath Cave along with Parvati Maa . Lord Shiva takes his Samadhi on the Deer Skin and concentrate . To ensure that no living being is able to hear the Immortal Tale , He created Rudra named Kalagni and ordered him  to spread fire to eliminate every living  thing in and around the Holy Cave . After this He started narrating  the secret of immortality to Maa Parvati . But as a matter of chance one egg which was lying beneath the  Deer skin remained protected . It is believed to be non living and more over it was protected by Shiva -Parvati Asan (Bed) .  The pair of pigeons which were born out of this  egg became immortal  having listened the secret  of immortality (Amar Katha). 
Many pilgrims report seeing the pair of pigeons  when they trek the arduous route to pay their obeisance before the Ice-Lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva). Discovery of Holy Cave
The story narrated by people about the discovery of this Holy Cave  is of  a Gujjar ( shepherd) Buta Malik . He is given the credit of discovering this Holy Cave  . Story goes like this , that a saint gave Buta Malik a bag full of Coal. On reaching his home when he opened the bag , to his  utter surprise the bag was full of gold coins . This made him overwelmed with joy. He  ran to thank the Saint . But,  what he found was that  the  Saint had disappeared . Instead , he found  The Holy Cave and Shiv Lingam there in . He announced the discovery of this  to the Villagers. Then onwards this has become the sacred place of Pilgrimage.
The ancient epics narrate an other  story which  goes like this. The valley of Kashmir was under water . It was a big lake. Kashyap Rishi drained the water through number of rivers and rivulets . In those days Bhrigu Rishi came that way on a visit to The Himalyas. He was the first to have Darshans of this Holy Cave . When people heard of the Lingam, Amarnath for them  became Shiva’s abode and a Centre of pilgrimage . Since then Lacs of devotees perform the pilgrimage through tough terrain and avail eternal happiness. The trek to Amarnath, in the month of sharavan ( July–August) has the devout flock to this incredible shrine, where the image of Shiva, in the form of a Lingam, is formed naturally of an Ice Stalagmite, which waxes and wanes with the Moon’s cycle . By its side are fascinating, two more Ice Lingams, that of  Maa Parvati and of their son, Ganesha . Amarnath Yatra When To Take UP Yatra
The Amarnath Yatra is organised every year by the J &K Govt. during  the month of sharavan ( July and August); the dates  however , vary every year looking  at the weather  conditions and according to Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) in the month of Sharavan (Vikrama Samwat). Yatra to Baba Amarnath Holy Cave for which one has to trek a height of  about 14,500 ft  is full of thrill and joy . The  feeling  of divine which is always beneath  ones’ heart ,  burst out and one realises ‘Moksha’  as one attends  the Cave   and   perform the  prayer  before the  Shivlinga . Surrounded by beautiful valleys, mountains , one  will  always  feel  His presence on the paradise of the earth, the memory of which hardly vanishes with time  A  journey  which  will  rediscover the nature and its love  which  is always  inside but one has never felt. CLIMATE
The climatic conditions are very uncertain . Rain or snowfall may take  place  at any time  or  place during the Yatra . It is to be particularly noted that abrupt changes in temperature might occur . Sunny weather may turn into rain / snow fall in  a short time .  The temperature may fall upto -5 degree C .  How to Perform Pilgrimage
For performing this Yatra, one is required to get registered . at Delhi , Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Jammu and Srinagar. Applications for registration in the prescribed format which is reproduced here . You can get  the print out of this form and this can be used for registration . The filled in form  should be sent to the registration office nearest to you , along with two passport size photographs duly affixed at the indicated places, a self addressed pre stamped envelope (for speed post) and a medical fitness certificate from an MBBS doctor .   Each yatri has to submit a seperate application for registration.   Every yatri will be issued a registration-cum-identity slip  by the registration authority. Yatris are advised to  carry this identity slip   during the  Yatra period to ensure a smooth passage .  Travelling Expenditure: Bus Fare (Per Person) DELUXE SEMI-DELUXE ORDINARY ARTP Jammu To Pahalgam NOTE : These are maximum rates. However , Yatris can avail the above facilities at lower rates depending upon their bargaining power.
All Yatris are advised  the following :
Insurance : In view of the hazardous nature of the Yatra, pilgrims are advised to get themselves insured  suitably. It is  advisable  that insurance cover  may be got done before leaving their place of residance.  Accommodation :
Bhole Bhandari Charitable Trust (Regd.)   provides  tented accommodation & Community Kitchen (Langar) to  the pilgrims TOTALLY FREE OF COST Free accommodation is also  being provided by other  Non Government Charitable Organisations..
  Personal Tips :
Because of the unpredictable  weather conditions, which  often are  wet and extremely cold during the Yatra period, pilgrims are advised to carry rain coat, woollen clothing, small umbrella (with head elastic band and strap around chin), walking stick , dry fruits, torch and  personal medical kits etc.

Route Map Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of the Lidder Valley, Amarnath Holy Cave stands at 3,888 mtrs. and is 363 kms. from Jammu Via Pahalgam and about 414 kms. from Jammu Via Baltal. The detailed description of the two routes to the Holy Cave is given below:  How to Reach
 One can reach the first part of journey through ;
 Air: The nearest aerodrome is Srinagar. Srinagar is a beautiful valley having world famous sights to see, such as Dal Lake, Nagina Lake, Shankaracharya Temple, Mughal Gardens and what not. It is the most sought after  tourist place. It is also known as “Paradise on earth”. Srinagar is summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir. There are daily flights to Srinagar from Delhi and Jammu. On some week days flights also pickup  passengers from Chandigarh and Amritsar .
Jammu is the nearest Railway Station . Jammu is winter Capital of Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu is a beautiful city and is also known as “CITY OF TEMPLES”. One may  visit old temples such as Raghunath Temple , Mahadev Mandir and other temples . It is well connected with all stations of India. The various trains coming to Jammu are listed here below.
Road : Jammu and Srinagar are also connected through road. Buses and Taxies are also available for this part of the  journey . These can be hired on daily as well as full tour basis.
How to Reach Amarnath Holy Cave : Though it is tough route still nearly one and a half  lac pilgrims visit  every year . The number of pilgrims is increasing every year. The journey from Jammu onward is by road and there are two routes . The details are given here. 1) JAMMU – PAHALGAM – HOLY CAVE. (Traditional Route)
Jammu to Pahalgam (315 km) – The distance between Jammu to Pahalgam can be covered by Taxi / Buses. These are  available at Tourist Reception Centre, J & K Govt., Raghunath Bazaar only early in the morning. But one can also come to Srinagar by air and then move to Pahalgam by road

PLACE           ALTITUDE MTRS     FEET              DISTANCE    FROM

CHANDANWARI     2895   9500   16.0 KM         PAHALGAM

PISSU TOP   3377   11000 3.0 KM            CHANDANWARI

SHESHNAG 3352   11730 11.0 KM         PISSU TOP

MAHAGUNAS          4276   14000 4.6 KM            SHESH NAG

PANCHTARNI          3657   1          9.4 KM            MAHAGUNUS TOP

SANGAM        –          –           3.0 KM            PANCHTARNI

HOLY CAVE 3952   13000 3.0 KM            SANGAM


It is 96 KM from Srinagar .

This distance can be covered by car,bus or taxi. Pahalgam is  known all over the world  for its beauty.

It is small town situated on the banks of Lidder River.

It is surrounded by high mountains. All essentials can be bought here.

Good Hotels are  available for accommodation.

However the arrangements for stay and Langar are also made  by the Non Government  Service Organisations.


The distance from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is 16km.

The route is good .

It can be covered by road transport also.

Mini buses are also available from Pahalgam to reach Chandanwari.

The trail runs along the Lidder River .

The route is scenic.

Food is available here. Pilgrims camp at Pahalgam or Chandanwari on the first night .


As the Yatra proceed further from Chandanwari one climbs a height to reach Pissu Top.

It is said  that to be first to reach for darshan of  Bhole Nath Shivshankar there was a war between Devtas and Rakshas .

With the power of Shiv , devtas could kill the rakshas in such large number that the heap of their dead bodies has resulted in this high mountain.


This second day’s trek of 12 kms  from Chandanwari is through Pissu Top and   spectacular, primeval countryside, and reaches Sheshnag – a mountain which derives  its name from its Seven Peaks, resembling the heads of the mythical snake.

The Journey to Sheshnag follows steep inclines on the right bank of a cascading stream and wild scenery untouched by civilisation.

The second night’s camp at Sheshnag overlooks the deep blue waters of Sheshnag lake, and glaciers beyond it.

There are legends of love and revenge too associated with Sheshnag, and at the camp these are narrated by campfires .

The stillness of a pine scented Himalayan night increases your inner joy. Yatris can take bath and get their fatigue alleviated. It is beautiful and scenic.


From Sheshnag one has to climb steep height up across Mahagunas Pass at 4276 mtrs.

(14000 ft) for 4.6 KM and then descending to the meadow lands of Panchtarni at a height of 3657 mtrs (1  ft).

The last camp enroute to the Holy Cave is made here on third day.

Here one faces cold winds which cause the  skin to crack .

Hence cold cream / Vaseline are very useful for protection of skin. Some Yatris are also effected by deficiency of oxygen .

Some may get the feeling of vomiting .

So dry fruit like Allu Bukhara ,sour and sweet  eatables like Lemon are useful to control these symptoms . 

The route to Mahagunas is full of rivulets , water falls , springs .

Panchtarni is a very beautiful place in the feet of BHAIRAV MOUNT.

Five Rivers flow  here .

It is said that the five rivers origanated from Lord Shiva’s Hairs (Jataon).

Pilgrims camp at Panchtarni on the 3rd night.


The Holy Cave of Shri Amarnath is only 6 kms from Panchtarni.

As there is no place to stay hence the pilgrims start in the  early hours of the morning after their stay at Panchtarni.

On the way to The Holy Cave one comes  across  the Sangam of Amravati and Panchtarni.

Some pilgrims take bath at Amravati near holy cave  to become pious before going for Darshan.

Near the cave is found white soil known as Bhasam. It is the most beloved soil of Shiv ji .

The pilgrims apply this Holy soil to their body and then go for Shivlingam Darshan.

There are two smaller Shivlings one of Maa Parvati and other of Shri Ganesh.

It may be noted that after having  early Darshan of the Shivlinga at Holy Cave one can return to Panchtarni well in time the same day .

Some pilgrims camp at Panchtarni while others continue their journey and reach back Sheshnag by the same  evening.

2) Jammu – Baltal – Holy cave (414km)

Jammu – Baltal (400km).

The distance between Jammu and Baltal can be covered by Taxis / Buses available at Tourist Reception Centre, J & K / bus stand or one can come to Srinagar by air and then reach Baltal by road.

The road route followed is :

JAMMU – Udhampur – Kud –  Patnitop – Ramban – Banihal – KaziGund – Anantnag – Srinagar – Sonamarg – Baltal.

The journey from Jammu to Baltal which is about 400 kms. is full of beautiful Sites and one can experience of being in Heaven , a  Paradise on earth.

Passing through beautiful valleys, steeped mountains, one is sure of forgetting , oneself as a person ,for a while .

A thrill, which is obviously there in every pilgrim gets enhanced while passing through this way owing to the Darshan of Holy Cave.

In nutshell, a journey which can go down to your memory throughout the lifetime.

Baltal to Holy Cave

From Baltal Holy Cave is just 14 Kms.

This distance can be covered by foot / Ponies. However, Dandies are also available for handicapped and old aged pilgrims.

The width of the pebbled (kuchha) road is a bit narrow as compared to the Chandanwari-Holy Cave route, moreover , there are some steep rises & falls on the way , as compared to the Chandanwari route, but pilgrims can return back to base camp Baltal through this route only in one day.

Airline Services : You can reach Jammu, Srinagar by Air from different parts of the country.

For latest information please contact the Indian Airlines office. From Srinagar you can go to Pahalgam / Baltal  by Bus /Taxi.

Approximate fare from Jammu to Srinagar is Rs.1300.00 per Person by Jet Airways.