Amarnath, which is one of the holiest shrines, is located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Amarnath is a famous Shiva temple, which is difficult to visit in all the seasons of the year. The difficulty of this pilgrimage is because of the snow covered mountains around the temple including the entrance of the cave. The cave is uncovered from the snow, only for very short duration of the summer. Lakhs of devotees of Shiva reach here during this short period of summer to see the wonder of nature and god. The wonder of god and nature is that the Shiva lingam is naturally made of ice, with two other ice idols beside this lingam are treated as the beloved wife Parvathi and the son Ganesha. This ice made Shiva lingam is also believed to wax and wane proportionally with the cycle of the moon.
This yatra is sacred to see the wonders of eternal world and God as well as adventurous to face unusual temperatures and unusual transport. However travelling with ponies is one good experience to enlist the greater experiences of life.
Amarnath has been increasing its hit by pilgrims year by year. In 2011, it recorded the largest hit of pilgrims of 6,34,00 and the similar in year 2012. This year the number is yet to be increased with the increased fame of the Amarnath temple and also increased number of duration. The right season for visiting this place is in the months of July and August for over 45 days in Shravan masam and darshans are formally allowed after the Pratham Puja.
Children below 13 years and persons above 75 years not eligible to undertake Yatra
The steep gradients on the long way of 16 km make the journey difficult and it could be made more comfortable with the right private travel services.
The legend of Amarnath goes in this way. Lord Shiva has left the Nandi, Chandra from Jataon, released sheshnag and also his son Ganesha. Later he also left the panchabhuthas and after sacrificing all the earthly things, he did Tandava Natyam and finally reached Amarnath along with life companion Parvathi. Here he revealed the secret of life and immortality of life to the wife Parvathi in this unmanned holy place.
This being cold and high altitude area, much care has to be taken and the pilgrims with good health conditions are only suggested to visit this holy place.
You are advised to practice walking for at least 4 km in the morning or evening from one month before pilgrimage to this place. Yoga, pranayama exercises can improve oxygen efficiency in the body which is quite important to manage oneself on the great altitudes of Amarnath temple.
As you are going to experience strong cold winds, make sure your baggage includes strong woolen clothing, umbrella, wind cheater, raincoat, waterproofing trekking shoes, walking stick, torch light, monkey cap to cover the face, gloves to cover the hands, jacket, woolen socks and waterproof trousers. Pregnant ladies have to wait one more year to go and visit this place, as it is not the right time to exhaust physically. Children before 13 years and old people beyond 75 years are not allowed to go for this tough pilgrimage.