Amarnath Yatra - Fairs and Festivals in
Jammu to Pahalgam is about
315 Km that can be covered by the conveyance of Taxi and Buses. The
Government of Jammu & Kashmir has provided the facility of running
Taxi and Buses from Raghunath Bazaar early in the morning but the
visitors can also come to Jammu by air and then move Pahalgam. So, the
holy Yatra of Amarnath starts from the first route of Pahalgam located
at a distance of 96 Kms from Srinagar situated on the banks of Lidder
River surrounded by the natural beauty of valleys and mountains. The
important destinations covered under this route are Chandanwari 16 Kms
away from Pahalgam, Pissu Top, Sheshnag second day’s trek of 12 Kms
from Chandanwari, Panchtarni, and finally the Holy Cave Shri Amarnath.
One of the holy Trinity, Shiva is a living God. the most sacred and
the most ancient book of India, the Rigveda evokes his presence in its
hymns. Vedic myths, rituals and even astronomy testify to his
existence from the dawn of time. But Shiva, Destroyer, the mendicant,
is undefinable : He is a great yogi. Legend has it that Shiva
recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in a Cave in Amarnath.
Unkown to them a pair of mating doves eavesdropped 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.
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 sadhu and thank him.
But on the spot of their meeting discovered a cave, and eventually
this became a place of pilgrimage for all believers. To date , a
percentage of the donations made by pilgrims are given to the
descendents of Malik, and the remaining to trust which manages the
Ensuring A Smooth Yatra
While most of the Pahalgam road is open to vehicular traffic, the last
24 km to the holy cave have to be traveled on foot. Adequate measures
have been taken to make this tortuous trek easier. The route from
Chandanwari to the holy cave has been widened, culverts and
footbridges have been strengthened to avoid any untoward incident, and
arrangements have been made for proper supply of drinking water to the
pilgrims enroute the holy cave.
Power development department authorities have been asked to ensure
uninterrupted power supply from Sarbal to the holy cave, particularly
during nights, and the departments of health, food and supplies, and
cooperatives have been asked to keep adequate stock of medicines,
oxygen, food grains, firewood and other essentials for the convenience
of the pilgrims.
In the Hindu mythology, there is a strong connection between the
sublime, serene and silvery Himalayan summits and Lord Shiva. Kalidasa,
the greatest of the Sanskrit poets described the Himalayas as "the
laughter of Shiva." Lord Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita, "Of the
mountains, I am the Himalayas." And Swami Vivekananda wittily said
that India has so many gods and goddesses because it's so close to the
Himalayas ? the abode of the gods.
The cave shrine of Amarnath can be accessed only during these rainy
months of July and August, when inside the cave, a pure white
ice-mound is formed, and water trickles down in a slow mysterious
rhythm from the top of the cave on top of it. It piles up to take the
shape of a lingam, the phallus symbol representing Lord Shiva, which
begins to rise undiscernibly to acquire a full shape on the full moon
night. It is believed that water from the Ramkund Lake situated above
the cave, falls drop by drop on the holy Shiva Lingam.
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