Amarnath TemplePlaces of Worship

April 21, 2012 12:39
Amarnath Temple

Amarnath is situated 145 km from Srinagar, the capital of the North Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. Located at an altitude of 3888 m above sea level, the Amarnath Cave is considered holy by Hindus. Every year a giant stalagmite or pillar of ice in the shape of a phallus, forms within this cave. This ice pillar is worshipped as a lingam - a symbol of Shiva - and thousands of pilgrims travel across the mountains to pray at the holy Amarnath cave shrine, in July and August every year.

According to legend, Shiva was asked by Parvati to tell her the secret of immortality. He resisted for a long while, however her repeated insistence led to his agreeing to reveal the secret to her. They traveled to an isolated location in the Himalayas, where no one could overhear the secret. On the way Shiva left Nandi the Bull, at Pahalgam (Bail gaon). He released the moon from his hair at Chandanwari. At Sheshnag peak, he released his snakes and Ganesh was left behind at Mahagunas Hill (Mahaganesh Hill). At Panchtarni, Shiva left behind the five elements (Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Sky) and accompanied by Parvati entered the cave. Here he meditated seated on his deer skin. To ensure that no living creature heard the secret he created a fire to destroy all life around him and then began to disclose the secret of immortality to Parvati. However a pigeon's egg hidden beneath Shiva's deerskin remined unharmed by the fire. A pair of pigeons, who overheard the secret of immortality, were born from this egg and even today pilgrims who visit the holy cave can see a pair of pigeons nesting here. Since the secret of immortality (Amar Katha) was revealed within this cave, it came to be known as Amarnath.

Amarnath Yatra

The Amarnath Yatra is one of the holiest journey of Hindu Pilgrims all over the world. The Yatra is organised every year by the J &K Government in the Hindu month of Shravan (July-August).
This is an annual event, when around 25,000 pilgrims visit the holy shrine of Amarnath caves. The pilgrims have to trek a height of about 14,500 feet to reach the Amarnath Caves.

Devotees with feeling of divine, beneath their heart , burst out and realizes 'Moksha' as they enters the cave and perform the worship before the Shivlinga .The Yatra rediscover the nature and its love, that pilgrims always feel within themselves.

Amarnath is 46 kms from Pahalgam and 141 kms from Srinagar. Pahalgam is 96 kms from Srinagar. The second approach to Amarnath is from Sonamarg via Baltal. Sonamarg is situated on Srinagar-Leh road north east from Srinagar. About 15 kms ahead lies Baltal in the foothills of the Zojila Pass. The holy cave is only a day's journey from here. At Baltal ponies/dandies/pack ponies /porters are available on Government approved rates.

Jammu, 300 kms away, from there National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with the country. Buses and taxis ply on this highway. It takes around 10 to 12 hours to cross this road.


Amarnath Cave: Tourist visit Amarnath in order to view the famous Amarnath cave temple. The holy shrine of Amarnath is dedicated to Lord Shiva, a living God.

Sheshanag: Other important tourist destination which you might like to view is Sheshnag Lake and Glacier. The best way to enjoy their beauty is litting up the camp fire.

Baltal: Baltal lies at a distance of 400 km from Jammu. The journey a number of breathtaking sights including verdant valleys and steeped mountains. Passing through the sites en route is like being in an ethereal setting. The Holy Cave lies at a distance of mere 14 km from Baltal.

Panchtarni: A steep climb up the Mahagunas Pass and then descending to the meadows takes one to Panchtarni. Perched at an elevation of 3,657 m/ 12000 ft, the place gets quite chilly. The cold winds can even cause your skin to crack. Cold creams and Vaseline is advisable to take along. Deficiency of oxygen may also affect some travellers. For those on way to the Amarnath Cave, it serves as the last camp en route.

Pahalgam: Situated on the banks of the Lidder river, Pahalgam is internationally renowned for its scenic beauty. It is 96 km from the capital of Srinagar and the distance can be easily covered by car, bus or taxi. The tiny town is beautifully surrounded by mountains. There are a number of good hotels in the area and accommodation is no problem.

source : gloriousindia

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