About Amarnath Yatra
Amarnath: Amarnath is a cave shrine, situated in the Northern State of Jammu and Kashmir. Pilgrimage is organised to this holy shrine coinciding with Sravana Pournima. The Shivalingam at Amarnath is formed of ice and it is popularly known as ICELINGAM. It is the firm belief and trust of Hindus that those who are able to visit this shrine will have no re-birth. One of the holy trinity, Shiva is a living God. The most sacred and most ancient book of India, the Rig-Veda evokes his presence in its hymns. Vedic myths, ritual and even astronomy testify to his existence from the dawn of time. But Shiva, the destroyer, the mendicant, is undefinable: he is the great yogi, the guardian of the absolute. His actions are the themes of the myths in which his nature unfolds.
Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in a cave in Amarnath. Unknown to them, a pair of mating doves eaves dropped on this conversation and having learned the secret; are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the doves-pair when they trek the ardous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).
According to an ancient tale, there was once a Muslim shepherd named Buta Malik who was given a sack of coal by a Sadhu. Upon reaching home he discovered that the sack, in fact, contained gold. Overjoyed and overcome, Buta Malik rushed back to look for the sadhu and thank him, but on the spot of thier meeting discovered a cave, and eventually this become a place of pilgrimage for all believers. Amarnath is situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder valley, It stands at 3,888 mts and is 46 Kms from Pahalgam and 141 Kms from Srinagar.
Visit to the Amarnath Shrine is like a visit to heaven and 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 destroyer and healer, the greatest of the Hindu gods.
Amarnath Yatra Organisers
Officially, the Yatra is organised by the State Government in collaboration with the Shree Amarnath Yatra trust. The Government agencies provide necessary facilities all along the route during the Yatra period, which includes provision of ponies, supply of power, telecommunication facilities, firewood and setting up of fair price shops.