About Amarnath Temple
Amarnath Temple holds a spiritual significance in Lord Shiva’s devotees’ hearts. People from India and across the world visit the Amarnath caves in the valleys of Kashmir. Thousands of devotees visit the Amarnath Caves during the summers from July to August to receive the grace of the Almighty.
The devotees hoard to glimpse the Ice image of Lord Shiva lingam in the form of a stalagmite. In Hinduism, visiting Amarnath holds a high religious significance which often equates to the path to seeking heaven.
Story Behind the Religious Significance of Amarnath Temple
(Image Credit: The Hindu)
The tale of Amarnath dates back to the millennia when the earth was the abode of the Almighty. For the first time, it was introduced in Rigveda. It is believed that here, in Amarnath, Lord Shiva passed down the divine knowledge of the creation of this universe and the mystery of immortality to his wife, Maa Parvati.
Once, Maa Parvati questioned Lord Shiva about why he carries the Mund mala (rosary of heads) around him. Lord Shiva replied that he adds one charge to his mund mala every time she reincarnates.
Listening to his response, Maa Parvati was quite puzzled. She then questioned him why she had to transcend through this cycle of life and death, but he and his followers were all immortal. Intrigued by her curiosity, Lord Shiva sought a remote place (today known as Amarnath caves) to relieve her from her queries.
When the divine couple finally arrived at the cave, Lord Shiva immersed himself in deep concentration while sitting in Samadhi on a deer’s skin. He created Kalagni to guard the caves so no mortal could hear them and instructed him to destroy all signs of life in and around the cave.
While Lord Shiva was enlightening Maa Parvati about the ordeals of the universe, a pair of pigeons too got to know the secret of immortality which was born underneath the deer skin.
That’s why today, many people can find evidence of a pair of pigeons flying over the area known to be those two immortal beings who got the gist of Amar Katha.
Road to Amarnath Temple
The trail to Amarnath temple starts right from the east of Srinagar, a 145 km walk to the valley of Kashmir. The first day of the trek begins in July on Panchami.
The first stop is nine miles from the base in Pampur, southeast of Srinagar. The other next stops are at Martand, Avantipur, and Brijbihara, followed by Aishmukam. On Dasami, the trek reaches Pahalgam, where the two rivers, Liddar and Seshnag, converge.
After taking a halt at Pahalgam, the trekkers take another break in Chandanwadi and Pishu Ghati, where devotees believe that God slew the demons. As the trek moves forward, the devotees pass via Sheshnag Lake (at the height of 12000 ft.), followed by Mahagunas pass (14000 ft.) to Panchtarni. On the day of Poornima, the trek finally arrives at Amarnath cave.
How to Reach Amarnath Temple?
There are two renowned routes to reach Amarnath, one via Baltal and the other via Pahalgam. Because of the rough terrain, only a few transportation mediums are available to commute to this location. Thus, one must rely on local transportation mediums, including ponies, carriers (palki), helicopters, or trekking.
Things to Know Before Planning your Amarnath Yatra
- Registration is a must before traveling. The government permits 15000 pilgrims to visit Amarnath. Tourists can download a virtual form online and fill in the details. Otherwise, one can get the registration forms from registered bank branches.
- There is an age restriction for trekking the locations at 13000 ft from the sea; devotees younger than 13 and older than 75 have a permit to walk to Amarnath temple. Not to mention, a health certificate is a t to a yatri permit.
- The Application fee is 50 rupees per yatri.
- The mobile network could be better in those areas. However, one can get pre-activated SIM cards from the locals in Baltal and Nunwan.
- Amarnath temple is one of the 51 shakti peethas. One can pass through the Pissu Top. The temple is only open for two months in the fall season. Trekkers need to pack extra warm clothes.
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