Amarnath Yatra

Sushant Pahalgam

Pahalgam is a hill resort in Kashmir which was discovered by pilgrims who were on their way to Amarnath. The Amarnath cave is one of the sites for holy pilgrimage for most Hindus as it is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva. Many of those who journey to Amarnath do so by stopping at picturesque places and quaint towns such as Pahalgam.

The legend of Amarnath cave is that of Shiva, also considered as a living God as per the Vedas. It is said that this cave was chosen by him to narrate the secret of immortality to his wife Parvati. When Parvati had asked him why he wears the headed beads around his neck, he said that each head signified one life. Then Parvati had asked him why is it that she and the others have to die to be born again while Mahadev remained immortal. On her insistence, Mahadev is said to have chosen this cave in Amarnath to narrate to her the secret of immortality. He had ensured that no living elements were with them, nor the moon on his head and neither their son Ganesh. However, legend says that, there lay a bird’s egg hidden below their asan which gave birth to two pigeons. These birds, having listened to the amar katha, became immortal. Pilgrims say that the two birds can be seen flying around the area when they make their way to the cave.

Amarnath Yatra Later, a shepherd is said to have discovered the cave and the Shiv linga which is formed naturally here by ice.

Most Hindu pilgrims travel to this place during the monsoon or shravan months, between July and August. This is the time when the Lingam attains the maximum height, formed by ice stalagmites, waxing and waning with the cycle of the moon. Two more lingams can be seen here, that of Parvati and Ganesha.

The Amarnath Yatra is organized by the J &K Govt. every year by providing additional bus and taxi services; there are other provisions which are made such as coolies and pony rides which need to be made available to people undertaking such a journey. Trek to the Amarnath cave involves a journey of mountainous paths to a height of 14,500 ft and hence, many safety and security measures need to be provided. Many holy trusts and other social welfare bodies organize free accommodation and food at intermittent points for the pilgrims. For those who are physically unable to cover such a journey by foot, can opt for covering the Amarnath Yatra by helicopter. Such rides can also be booked in advance and are made available by the state government.

Amarnath cave, Amarnath Yatra by helicopter,


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