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Amarnath Cave , Dedicated to Lord Shiva

Amarnath cave is one of the most famous of Hindu temples located in Jammu and Kashmir, India. This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shri Amarnathji Cave Shrine stands at 3,888 m and is 45 km from Pahalgam and 141 km from Srinagar. Amarnath is a world famous Ice cave where Shivalingam is appears on particular period. Approximately at a height of 12,760 feet, the Amarnath Cave is visited by many devotees each year to see Lord Shiva’s lingam, which is naturally formed with ice. It is one of the ancient rituals in india and very holy place for indian people. Millions of devotees trek through the daunting mountains to Shri Amarnathji Shrine in South Kashmir every year in the summer months to pay obeisance.

The cave is surrounded by snowy mountains. The cave itself is covered with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims in the month of July / August.

Inside the Amarnath cave, the stalagmite is formed due to freezing of water drops that fall from the roof of the cave on to the floor and grows up vertically from the cave floor. It is considered to be a Shiva Linga by Hindus. You are not allowed to touch the lingam or not throw anything in the cave. Two other ice formations represent Parvati and Shiva's son, Ganesha.

The Amarnath Yatra, according to Hindu belief, begins on Ashadha Purnima (day of the Full Moon in the Hindu Month of Ashadha) and ends on Shravana Purnima (day of the full moon in the Hindu month of Shravana). Devotees mostly travels on foot to reach this shrine but there are Helicopter services available from baltal, near Sonamarg. This journey is not advisable neither for those who are physically unfit nor for kids because devotees face many problems due to unpredictable weather conditions, which may even cause shortage of oxygen. Some may get the feeling of nausea which is the sensation that there is a need to vomit. But once you complete the yatra, you feel really relaxed. There are many NGOs working. They provide proper shelter, food and also night stay to make your journey smooth.

Story related to Amarnath Cave

The Amarnath cave has been a place of worship since times immemorial. The Amarnath Cave has a special significance in the Hindu religion. As per legend, Lord Shiva had chosen this cave to describe the secrets of immortality and formation of the universe to Maa Parvati. Once Maa Parvati asked Lord Shiva why are you immortal and I keep on dying again and again? Lord Shiva said that this is due to the Amar Katha. Maa Parvati insisted to hear that Amar Katha and after convincing Lord for a long time, Lord Shiva decided to narrate that story to Maa Parvati.

To narrate the story, Lord Shiva started looking for an absolutely lonely place so that no living being can hear that Amar Katha except for Maa Parvati. He finally found the Amarnath Cave.Lord Shiva entered in this holy Amarnath Cave with Maa Parvati. Lord Shiva sat on the Deer Skin and took a samadhi. To further make sure that not even a single living being could hear the secret Amar Katha, He created a rudra named Kalagni and ordered him to set fire around the cave so that everything living around that place could be destroyed. He then started narrating the story of immortality to Maa Parvati. But in spite of all these efforts, one egg remained protected under the deer skin on which the Lord was sitting. But it was considered as non-living. A pair of pigeons was born out of that egg and supposedly became immortal. Pilgrims can still see the pigeon pair while going towards the Amarnath Cave.

How to reach

You can reach here from pahalgam town or baltal town. Original yatra considered is from pahalgam. Pahalgam is located 96 kms from Srinagar and 46 kms from Amarnath. Its common practice to start the trek from Pahalgam where all the base camp is been held. Baltal yatra is shortest in route. There are many mode of transport for yatra. You can walk by foot, porters, horses or paliquis. There is also a quick service from helicopter. There are proper facilities for yatris on the way.