Amrnath Temple in Jammu and Kashmir is one of the holiest places for the Hindus and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The cave is at an altitude of 3,888 m above the sea level and 141 km from the capital city Srinagar. It is covered with snow for most part of the year except for a short period during the summer seasons. The mountains surrounding the cave are also covered with snow. The cave is about 130 feet high and inside it is the stalagmite, which was formed by the water droplets falling from the roof of the cave. These droplets got frozen as they were falling and formed the stalagmite. It resembles a shivalinga and is worshipped by the Hindus.
Amarnath Temple, Jammu and Kashmir | Image Resource : templeindia.in
According to Hindu mythology it was here that Lord Shiva explained to his consort Goddedss Parvati about the
secrets of life and eternity. Amarnath Caves is very ancient and has been mentioned as early as 300 BCE. The cave is accessible from Pahalgam and from Baltal. There is helicopter service from
both these places up to Panchtarni. From here you have to trek to the caves. For those who find trekking hard, there are ponies to take you up to the caves. Some devotees walk the whole route
from Pahalgam to Amarnath Caves on foot, which is a hard task and not recommended for those who are physically unfit and small children. Often you may have trouble in getting enough oxygen.
Devotees can buy tea and coffee from the tea stalls on the way and also free meals are served at some points. Tents are also put up by the local people for the pilgrims to sit and rest and then continue on their way up the caves. The BSF and CRPF soldiers are always there to help you in any trouble.
Amarnath Temple | Image Resource : indian-temple-photo.blogspot.com
In spite of the tedious and dangerous journey to Amarnath Temple, lots of pilgrims visit the place every year
when it is open for the devotees. An estimated number of 634,000 devotees visited the caves in 2011, which was the highest recorded number till date. In 2004, Amarnath Yatra will start from the
28th of June and will last till the 10th of August.
Amarnath Yatra | Image Resource : blogs.hungrybags.com