Amarnath Yatra

Amarnath Yatra

Amarnath Yatra is one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages, undertaken by lakhs of pilgrims every year to the holy Amarnath Cave in Kashmir in the month of Shravan (July-August). Since Amarnath Yatra is an important annual pilgrimage for the Hindus, special arrangements for the pilgrims are made during the time of the Yatra.

There is a dedicated shrine board that organizes and manages the annual Amarnath Yatra. We have shared more information about this holy pilgrimage, its history, its significance, and its route here.

Amarnath Yatra 2023

Every year, lakhs of pilgrims travel from all parts of India to the Amarnath Cave in Kashmir. Amarnath Yatra 2023 will be organized in the month of July to August, when pilgrims will walk to the cave to express their devotion to the Hindu gods. This yatra is an annual tradition in India in which a significant number of people participate.

The Amarnath Shrine Board released the official schedule and route for the annual pilgrimage. Since it is a popular pilgrimage site, Amarnath witnesses thousands of devotees each year. We have shared more details about the pilgrimage here.

Pilgrimage Amarnath Yatra
Held July to August
Organized By Amarnath Shrine Board
Significance Devotees express their devotion towards Lord Shiva by participating in the yatra.

Amarnath Yatra – History

Amarnath Yatra is a pilgrimage to the Amarnath Cave, which being 5000 years old, is the most ancient cave shrine in the world. According to Hindu mythology, it came into being when Lord Shiva’s third eye emitted a fireball, striking a hill and creating a deep chasm, now known as the Amarnath Cave. It finds mention in several religious texts, including the Mahabharata, Puranas, and Aryabhatta’s Rajavalipataka.

Every year, thousands of people participate in the Amarnath Yatra to show their devotion to Lord Shiva. We have shared more details about the history of Amarnath Yatra here –

Story behind the Amarnath Cave

The Cave has derived its name from the words “Amar” meaning immortal and “Nath” meaning Lord. It signifies the place where Lord Shiva revealed to Goddess Parvati the secret of his immortality, i.e., the “Amar Katha”. Every devotee who participates in the Amarnath Yatra must know the story behind the name of the cave.

Discovery of the Amarnath Cave

The Cave is said to have been discovered in the 15th century by a Muslim shepherd called Buta Malik. As per the mythical tale, the shepherd once lost track of his herd of sheep and while searching for them, met an old saint. The saint handed him a bag full of charcoal which turned into gold by the time Buta Malik reached home. The next day, he returned to the spot where he met the saint to thank him, but in its place found the Amarnath Cave.

What’s inside the Amarnath Cave?

Amarnath Yatra pilgrims are always curious about what’s inside the Amarnath Cave. The Cave comprises an ice stalagmite that resembles a Shiva Lingam. Water dripping from the roof of the Cave accumulates and freezes to form the ice Lingam, which attains its full-fledged form on the day of Shravan Poornima. The lingam is thus self-manifesting and is called a Swayambhu Lingam. There are two other ice lingams representing Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha.

Amarnath Yatra Route

The route of the Amarnath Yatra begins from Pahalgam in Srinagar. The shrine of the Amarnath Cave is situated at the end of the Lidder Valley in Kashmir. It stands at an elevation of 3,888 m. The distance of the shrine of the Amarnath Yatra is 141 km from Srinagar and 45 km from Pahalgam.

Traditionally, people used to follow the Amarnath Yatra route from Srinagar however, now, people also take the Pahalgam route to the yatra. The Amarnath Yatra is completed in a span of 4-5 days.

Amarnath Yatra Facts

  • The Amarnath Yatra is undertaken during the month of Shravan, during a 45-day season, because that is when the Shiva lingam reaches its apex form.
  • The Amarnath Yatra is organized by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), constituted by the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature through the enactment of the SASB Act, 2000. They facilitate the registration of pilgrims on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • Pilgrims must be between the ages of 13 and 75 to be eligible to undertake the Yatra. They must also provide a Compulsory Health Certificate (CHC) from an institution authorized by the SASB.
  • There are two routes to Amarnath Cavethe one via Pahalgam is a 43km trek while the Batal route is an 11km trek but quite steep. Alternatively, pilgrims can also use helicopter services, pony rides, or palkis.

Amarnath Yatra’s history is sacred in the Hindu religion, making the pilgrimage highly sought after. As a result, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board has attempted to improve the experience by facilitating helicopter and better car services. The Yatra is undertaken by lakhs of pilgrims each year and is a major source of revenue for Kashmir.

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FAQs on Amarnath Yatra

Q.1. When will the Amarnath Yatra 2023 begin?

Amarnath Yatra starts during the month of July every year. However, those who want to participate in the yatra have to register themselves with the Amarnath Shrine Board. The registrations for the yatra typically begin in the month of April.

Q2. What is the significance of Amarnath Yatra?

Amarnath Yatra is significant in the history of Hindu mythology. According to the history, it is believed that Lord Shiva revealed the secret of life and eternity to his divine consort, Goddess Parvati, in the Amarnath Cave. Every year, thousands of pilgrims go to the Amarnath Yatra.

Q.3. How long does it take to complete the Amarnath Yatra?

It can take anywhere between three to five days to complete the Amarnath Yatra. The time taken to complete the yatra differs from person to person based on their speed of travel and their mode of travel (walk, helicopter, cabs, etc.).

Q.4. What are the documents required for Amarnath Yatra?

Every applicant for the Amarnath Yatra must submit the application form, along with CHC and four passport-sized photographs. The registration for the Amarnath Yatra begins as early as in the month of April at the Amarnath Shrine Board.

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