Amarnath Caves Tour: Trip to Holy Cave in India

Amarnath hill station is the well-known Hindu holy place of Amarnath is to be found in the Valley of Lidder. This 14 000 meters great shrine is committed to the trinity of God Shiva. Despite the fact that the original pilgrimage subscribes that the Amarnath cave tour be taken on from Srinagar, the most common practice is to begin journey at Pahalgam, and cover the distance to Amarnath and back in five days. Pahalgam is 96 kilo meters from Srinagar.

Amarnath Cave

Amarnath Cave

The Amaranth Cave was found out by a Muslim shepherd of Batakot, Buta Malik, when he lost his flock and found that it had wandered away into the sacred spot some 150 years ago. Even today his family gets some part of the alms presented by pilgrims. It is a phallus of Shiva, which naturally shaped ice stalagmite that grows throughout the period from May to August and gradually decreases thereafter. Shivling the most important remains linked with two other bodies of ice, one is that of Parvati and Ganesh is the other. Hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit this place of pilgrimage every twelve months.

There are many legends related with the cave of Amarnath. One of the legends is that Lord Shiva was telling the secret of creation to Goddess Parvati in a cave in Amarnath. Without their knowledge, a pair of mating doves overheard their conversation. Having learned the secret of creation, the doves now take rebirth again and again and the same cave serves as their abode since then. Another popular legend is that, to make all the gods immortal, Lord Shiva dispersed outer space nectar of immortality amongst them. This led to awarding of the name Amarnath to Lord Shiva, meaning Lord of Immortality.

Shivling inside Amarnath Cave

Shivling inside Amarnath Cave

Each year, Hindu devotees make a pilgrimage to this sacred cave. Being one of the most respected Hindu shrines in India, the Amarnath Cave has been a place of devotion since times immemorial, with references found in many primordial texts. The cave itself is covered with snow most times of the year except for a short period in summer when it is open for pilgrims. Hindu devotees brave freezing temperatures to climb up glaciers and high elevation mountain passes to reach the sacred Amarnath cave, which houses an ice stalagmite, worshiped by Hindus as a symbol of the Lord Shiva. About 700,000 Hindu pilgrims taking Amarnath Cave tour in a year, according to local officials, causing strain on the environment and political stability of the region, which has long fought for independence from India.

Lidder River, Pahalgam

Lidder River, Pahalgam

Entry to the cave is regulated, and darshan a rushed situation for there are many others waiting outside to pay reverence before the awesome Shivalinga. The devotees sing bhajans, chant incantations, and priests perform aarti and puja, invoking the blessings of Shiva, the divine, the pure, and the absolute. For those who journey with faith, it is a rewarding experience, this simple visitation to a cave-shrine, the home of the Himalayan mendicant who is both slayer and healer, the greatest of the Hindu deities. The trek from Pahalgam to Amarnath cave is on an ancient peregrine course. The 45 kilo meter distance is covered in four days, with night halts at Chandanwari, Sheshnag (Wawjan) and Panchtarni. The distance from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is 12.8 kilo meters and is covered in about five to six hours, and the trail runs along the Lidder River. Pilgrims camp here on the first night out. A major attraction here is a bridge covered, year round, with ice even though the surroundings are free from it.

The climatic situations are very tentative. Rain or snowfall may come to pass at any time and any place during journey. It is to be predominantly noted that unexpected changes in temperature might occur. Sunny weather may turn into rain / snow fall in a short time. The temperature may fall up to -5 degree C. With the changing time, Helicopters have started operating for Amarnath Cave tour from Srinagar and Baltal which makes this pilgrimage easy and time saving.

Advertisements