“Amarnath Ji Yatra is among the oldest organised travel system, evolved over time by Hindu sages and embodying the spirit of wander, adventure and spirituality"
The most ancient and sacred book of India, the Rig Veda evokes presence of Amarnath Ji (Lord Shiva) in its hymns. Vedic myths, ritual and even astronomy testify to his existence from the dawn of time. Shiva is known to have made his home in the Himalayas. He built no house or any type of shelter for himself or his bride. He was an ascetic, and yet married; he could be both for "he was the wild god sporting in the forest or taking his ease on a cloud." Once Lord Shiva was narrating Parvati the secret of creation in the Amarnathji cave. Unknown to them, a pair of mating pigeons 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 pigeons-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).
The trek to Amarnathji, in the month of Shravan (July - August) has the devout flock to this incredible shrine Thousands of devotees come to pay homage before Shiva in one of his famous Himalayan abodes.Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder valley, Amarnathji stands at 3,888 m and is 45 km from Pahalgam and 141 km from Srinagar. Though the original pilgrimage subscribes that the yatra be undertaken from Srinagar, the more common practice is to begin the journey from Pahalgam, and cover the distance to Amarnathji and back in four or five days. Pahalgam is 96 km from Srinagar.Since the base point for the pilgrim's trek is picturesque Pahalgam, a large tented township springs up to accommodate the pilgrims. All intermediate halting places have the same kind of facilities as are provided at Pahalgam, and a Yatra Officer is appointed to conduct the pilgrimage.
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