On Mount Amarnath, at the farther end of Lidder valley, Kashmir,
Northern India. 45km from Pahalgam, 145km from
. Access from
Panchtarni, 6km walk.
July To August
The Scared Cave of The Mount Amarnath
Amarnath Cave situated on the Mount Amarnath, derives its name from the
Mount Amarnath. The Amarnath Cave are at the height of 5,486 m, where it is
located nearly at height of 4000 m. Because of this height, the cave is
covered with snow for most of the year. Only for a short period in summer,
the entrance is accessible. The cave is an ice cave, it contains a certain
amount of ice stalagmites.
The Amarnath Cave is a holy place for Hindu pilgrims. One very
characteristic pilar of ice is believed to be an ice lingham, the phallic
symbol of Lord Shiva. Two smaller ice stalagmite represent Parvati, his
wife, and Ganesha, his son. The Hindu pilgrims also believe, that the height
of the lingham increases and decreases with the phases of the moon. In the
month of Shravan, on the full moon in August, thousands of Hindus go on a
pilgrimage up to the cave. At this time the lingam reaches its biggest size.
The pilgrimage is somewhat arduous. The big height and the low temperature,
combined with the under-nourished state of many people, cost a yearly toll.
A legend tells, that Shiva explained the secret of creation to Parvati in
the cave. Two mating doves heard this and now live in the cave for eternity,
being reborn again and again. This legend is confirmed (at least in the eyes
of believers) by flocks of doves near the cave, with no vegetation around.
The Major Fascination of the Amarnath Cave
One of the most important event during July/ August, is Amarnath Yatra to
the Holy Pilgrimage. This is an annual event when thousands of Hindus from
different corners of the Globe visit Amarnath caves. The pilgrims trek from
Pahalgam to these caves and worship the great ice Lingam.
Arriving At Amarnath Caves
By Flight :
Indian Airlines had daily flights to Delhi and
Srinagar. There are also flights to Bombay, Calcutta, Chandigarh, and Leh.
The Indian Airlines office(542-735) is at the Tourist Reception Centre on
By Trackways :
The Shalimar Express departs from Delhi at
4.10 pm and arrives in Jammu at 7 am. There are other trains to and from
Delhi. From Jammu there are direct trains to Bombay, Calcutta (Jammu
Tawi Exp # 3152, daily, 6.15 pm, 46 ½ hr). Most buses leave between 6
and 7 am, in order to arrive before night. A ticket to Srinagar should be
booked in advance. There are buses to Delhi (14 hr), Amritsar (5hr), and
Pathankot (3 hr). From Pathankot you can get a bus to Dharamshala and
Dalhousie. Deluxe buses depart from the railway station, usually between 6
and 7 am.