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Amarnath Yatra(Kashmir)

Amarnath yatra
Amarnath is yet another name of lord Shiva. I had the pleasure of going to Amarnath twice. You can go to Amarnathji via The beautiful town of pehalgoan(pehalgam).This route will take you around 2-3 days to reach Amarnathji depending on your pace. This particular route have some of the best vistas one can see and enjoy. The typical route is pehalgam-16kms-Chandanwari- 12kms-Pissu top&sheshnagh-(12kms)-Mahagunus top&
Panchtarni -6kms-Holy cave.(total 46 kms from pehalgam)
There is a shorter route also available which has its base at Baltal. Nowadays it is mandatory to get yourself registered which you can do from Delhi, Jammu And Srinagar.From Jammu one can go directly to pehalgam.This beautiful town is situated at
The height of 7200 feet above sea level. Pehalgam is a part of lidder valley and one can easily get lost in the natural beauty
of this area. This town is surrounded by thick deodar tress and the smell of these trees is blissfully intoxicating. The beautiful lidder river flows right through the town.Chandanwari
is around 16 kms from pehalgam and is situated at around
9500feet above sea level. One can walk through the distance or even drive up to chandanwari. Actual ascend starts from Chandanwari and the stretch between chandanwari to pissu top is indeed very steep and thus makes it really
difficult for the pilgrims.Pissu top is situated at the height of around 11500feet above sea level.From pissu top till amaranth cave one can hardly find trees. From pissu top till sheshnag(12000feet) It is relatively easy walk.Sheshnag lake is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen. It’s crystal clear
blue waters are very soothing to eyes. According to Rajtarangni, there is another lake just above shashnag which is known as zamturnag(son-in-law of Sheshnag).The route from sheshnag to panctarni(12500feet) is easily the most difficult stretch
as one has to pass through Mahagunus top. Mahagunus means the great snake in kashmiri.This is the highest point of this yatra
and the height at Mahagunus top is 14800 feet above sea level. One finds exhausted at this height due to lack of oxygen.
The name of this top has been changed by India army to Mahaganesh top as they were not aware of the local history & culture and they could not understand kashmiri.From Mahagunus top till panctarni, the route is descending .Panchtarni is the last stop before amarnath cave.From panchtarni there is again ascend, but not as steep as pissu top or Mahagunus top. One has to pass through a glacier which is approximately half kilometer long, before one reaches the holy cave(13500 feet). Before having the darshan, one has to take a bath in Amravati river which flows right in front of the cave.Inside holy cave, there is a natural Ice linga of lord Shiva. According to local kashmiri legend which we have heard from our elders, It was here in this holy cave, lord shiva had narrated the story of secret of creation which makes one amar(immortal).Legend also says that there was a pair of pigeons(unlike some news channels which claimed that there were eggs of pigeons who heard the story?) who overheard this story and hence they also became”amar”. One more thing which I would like to share with you is that there has been occasions in the past when shiva linga was not formed(last year also same thing happened and again due to lack of local Kashmir history regarding this yatra the present governor Mr. Sinha had ordered an artificial linga which created controversy.Mr sinha is an able man & has done a lot for development of SASB-Sri amaranth shrine board ).One can go back through pehalgam or through a shorter route from baltal, which was earlier 14kms and now this distance is reduced to 12kms.From baltal one can go to srinagar.One should carry woolens for this yatra as the weather is really unpredictable. have a great journey……….

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