1) JAMMU – PAHALGAM – HOLY CAVE. (Traditional
Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther
end of the Lidder Valley, Amarnath Holy Cave stands at 3,888 mtrs.
and is 363 kms. from Jammu Via Pahalgam and about 414 kms. from
Jammu Via Baltal. The detailed description of the two routes to the
Holy Cave is given below:
One can reach the first part of journey through ;
nearest aerodrome is Srinagar. Srinagar is a beautiful valley having
world famous sights to see, such as Dal Lake, Nagina Lake,
Shankaracharya Temple, Mughal Gardens and what not. It is the most
sought after tourist place. It is also known as "Paradise
on earth". Srinagar is summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir.
There are daily flights to Srinagar from Delhi and Jammu. On some
week days flights also pickup passengers from Chandigarh and
Jammu is the nearest Railway Station . Jammu is winter Capital of
Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu is a beautiful city and is also known as
"CITY OF TEMPLES". One may visit old temples such as Raghunath
Temple , Mahadev Mandir and other temples . It is well connected
with all stations of India.The various trains coming to Jammu are
listed here below.
Jammu and Srinagar are also connected through road. Buses and Taxies
are also available for this part of the journey .These can be
hired on daily as well as full tour basis.
How to Reach Amarnath Holy Cave
Though it is tough route still nearly one and a half lac
pilgrims visit every year . The number of pilgrims is
increasing every year. The journey from Jammu onward is by road and
there are two routes . The details are given here.
Jammu to Pahalgam (315 km) – The distance between Jammu to
Pahalgam can be covered by Taxi / Buses. These are available at
Tourist Reception Centre, J & K Govt., Raghunath Bazaar only early in
the morning. But one can also come to Srinagar by air and then move to
Pahalgam by road which is around 96 kms .
1. PAHALGAM :
It is 96 KM
from Srinagar .This distance can be covered by car,bus or taxi. Pahalgam
is known all over the world for its beauty. It is small town
situated on the banks of Lidder River. It is surrounded by high mountains.
All essentials can be bought here. Good Hotels are available for
accommodation. However the arrangements for stay and Langar are also
made by the Non Government Service Organisations.
distance from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is 16km. The route is good .It can
be covered by road transport also. Mini buses are also available from
Pahalgam to reach Chandanwari. The trail runs along the Lidder River . The
route is scenic. Food is available here. Pilgrims camp at Pahalgam or
Chandanwari on the first night .
3. PISSU TOP :
Yatra proceed further from Chandanwari one climbs a height to reach Pissu
Top. It is said that to be first to reach for darshan of Bhole
Nath Shivshankar there was a war between Devtas and Rakshas . With the
power of Shiv , devtas could kill the rakshas in such large number that
the heap of their dead bodies has resulted in this high
This second day’s
trek of 12 kms from Chandanwari is through Pissu Top and
spectacular, primeval countryside, and reaches Sheshnag – a mountain which
derives its name from its Seven Peaks, resembling the heads of the
mythical snake. The Journey to Sheshnag follows steep inclines on the
right bank of a cascading stream and wild scenery untouched by
civilisation. The second night’s camp at Sheshnag overlooks the deep blue
waters of Sheshnag lake, and glaciers beyond
it. There are legends of love and revenge too associated with Sheshnag,
and at the camp these are narrated by campfires . The stillness of a pine
scented Himalayan night increases your inner joy. Yatris can take bath and
get their fatigue alleviated. It is beautiful and
Sheshnag one has to climb steep height up across Mahagunas Pass at 4276
mtrs.(14000 ft) for 4.6 KM and then descending to the meadow lands of
Panchtarni at a height of 3657 mtrs (12000 ft). The last camp enroute to
the Holy Cave is made here on third
one faces cold winds which cause the skin to crack . Hence cold
cream / Vaseline are very useful for protection
of skin. Some Yatris are also effected by deficiency of oxygen .Some may
get the feeling of vomiting . So dry fruit like Allu Bukhara ,sour and
sweet eatables like Lemon are useful to control these symptoms . The route to
Mahagunas is full of rivulets , water falls , springs . Panchtarni is a very beautiful place in the
feet of BHAIRAV MOUNT. Five Rivers flow here . It is said that the
five rivers origanated from Lord Shiva's Hairs (Jataon). Pilgrims camp at
Panchtarni on the 3rd night.
THE HOLY CAVE SHRI AMARNATH:
The Holy Cave of Shri Amarnath is only 6 kms
from Panchtarni. As there is no place to stay hence the pilgrims start in
the early hours of the morning after their stay at Panchtarni. On
the way to The Holy Cave one comes across the Sangam of
Amravati and Panchtarni. Some pilgrims take bath at Amravati near holy
cave to become pious before going for Darshan. Near the cave is
found white soil known as Bhasam. It is the most beloved soil of Shiv ji .
The pilgrims apply this Holy soil to their body and then go for Shivlingam
Darshan. There are two smaller Shivlings one of Maa Parvati and other of
Shri Ganesh. It may be noted that after having early Darshan of the
Shivlinga at Holy Cave one can return to Panchtarni well in time the same
day . Some pilgrims camp at Panchtarni while others continue their journey
and reach back Sheshnag by the same evening.
Baltal to Holy
From Baltal Holy
Cave is just 14 Kms.
This distance can be
covered by foot / Ponies. However, Dandies are also available for
handicapped and old aged pilgrims.The width of the pebbled
(kuchha) road is a bit narrow as compared to the Chandanwari-Holy Cave
route, moreover , there are some steep rises & falls on the way , as
compared to the Chandanwari route, but pilgrims can return back to base
camp Baltal through this route only in one day.
best time to start your day is at 5.00 a.m. so that you have darshan of
the holy shrine by 2 pm and return to the base camp at Baltal latest by
7.00 p.m. , intime to find accommodation and rest for the night . The Pony
Charges from Baltal - Amarnath - Baltal ars Rs. 1200/- as on 12.07.2003 ,
one side can be negotiated at Rs. 550-600/- .
BHOLE NATH , JAI MAA PARVATI