Amarnath Temple , Sonmarg
About Amarnath Temple
Amarnath is located 181 km from Srinagar at a height 3,888 meters and is famous for the Amarnath shrine dedicated to lord Shiva. One of the most worshipped Hindu shrines is Amarnath Temple. It is basically a cave which is situated in Jammu and Kashmir, India. This cave is located at an altitude of 12,756 ft. This holy cave covered by lofty mountains that are full of snow. The cave is opened in summers for limited time for the pilgrims otherwise it is closed because of the heavy snow that covers it throughout the year. A large number of Hindu devotees challenge the lofty and snowy mountains and the very freezing climate to visit the shrine.
Inside this 40 meter high cave, a stalagmite is formed as the water dropping from the roof of the cave freezes and grows up vertically from the floor of the cave. It’s considered as Shiva Lingam by the Hindus. It is believed that the Lingam gradually shrinks and grows with the phases of the moon. It reaches its height during the summer festival but there is no scientific evidence to this. Also it is believed in Hindu religion that this is the place where Parvati was exposed to the divine knowledge about the secret of Life, by Lord Shiva.
Every year thousands of pilgrims visit Amarnath Temple to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva snow Shivlinga. Amarnath cave can be accessed during the 45 day window during July to August and is considered one of the holiest pilgrimages in Hinduism. Also one can access this cave by taking a trek from Pahlgam - Chandanwari - Pissu Top - Sheshnag - Panchtarni - Holy Cave or from Sonmarg- Baltal - Domail - Barari - Holy Cave. One needs to register with the Shri Amarnath shrine board to take this yatra. Helicopter services are also available from Baltal to the cave.
It is recommended to be in a good state of health to undertake this yatra as one has to furnish a medical certificate of fitness to take this yatra. Adequate arrangements are ensured by the government authorities for the ease of the travellers to amaranth cave.