One among the most venerated pilgrim site in the entire subcontinent, Amarnath or the abode of the immortal god transcends all other holy places with its absolute divinity and tranquility. This devout location, at a soaring height of 4,175 meters boasts of so many fabulous myths and legends about Lord Shiva.
The popular belief is that it was here at the holy cave of Amarnath that lord Shiva narrated to Parvati about the mysteries behind the creation. Two mating doves accidentally heard this heavenly conversation and were able to know the secret of births and the devotees believe that these doves were born again and again and made the cave as their perpetual abode. Though a legendary belief so many devotees testified that they had seen a pair of doves in the snow covered Amarnath caves.
A holy cave in the name of lord Shiva at an altitude of 3888 meter, Amarnath cave is an integral part of ancient Hindu mythology. Believed to be 5000 years old, this cave adorns a special significance since as per the legends, it was here that the lord explained the secrets of life to his beloved wife. The cave holds numerous myths and legends and whatever are the truth behind these tales, the shrine witnesses’ huge gatherings every year, the number of which is increasing year after year
There are 2 major routes which can be taken in order to reach the holy cave The trek on this route begins from Baltal and the total distance to the Amarnath Cave is around 15 kms. The route to be followed is Baltal-Domail-Baragi-Sangam-Holy cave. There is no accommodation available and this trek can be undertaken in a single day. Also please note that in spite of being shorter this route is very steep and often prone to landslides. Alternatively on the route from Baltal, pilgrims can hire Ponies , Palanquinsand porters . Please note that at the Baltal base camp your phone might not work but there are many telephone booths available that are connected via satellites.
The first route begins from Pahalgam and covers a distance of 47 kms. The route to follow is Pahalgam – Nunwan- Chandanwari (16 kms) – Pissu Top (3 kms) – Sheshnag (9kms) – Panchtarni (13 kms) – Amarnath Cave (6kms). There are only a few cities where one can stay while on the route and they are Pahalgam, Seshnag, Panchtarni and near the holy cave as well.
Helicopter services are also available for reaching Amarnath. The pickup point is Baltal takes the pilgrims to the holy cave for the pooja and darshan, which takes almost an hour, and brings back the pilgrim to Baltal. Helicopters can be taken from Pahalgam as well.. Helicopter land at Panjtarni which is around 4 km from Amarnath and from here tourists need to continue their journey via trekking or hiring ponies or palanquin on Kashmir holiday packages.