Posted by on Jun 9, 2011 in Temples | 0 comments

Amaranth Yatra celebrates Shiva appearance in the Amarnath cave located near Srinagar in India.

Rig Veda is one the most sacred and ancient text of India. These texts depicts “Shiva” as the only living god who not only was present in hymns, vedic myths, rituals in ancient times but also is appearing in today’s times in the form of Amarnath Lingam. Amaranth is a holy trinity of Brahma-the creator of life, Vishnu-the perpetuator of life and Shiva-the purifier, perpetuator of whatever is good and the destroyer of bad and evil life. Amaranth Yatra celebrates Shiva appearance in the Amarnath cave located near Srinagar in India. According to Rig Veda, Lord Shiva gave the knowledge of immortality to Devi Parvati while sitting in this cave. Rig veda,In its Mandal VII, Sukta 59 and Mantra 12 it says “we worship Rudra, who spread fragrance and increases nourishment, could possibly he releases me, such as the cucumber from the stem, from mortal life, although not from immortality”.

Amarnath Yatra

Location

Amaranth is located 145 kms from Srinagar in a glacial valley at a height of about 13500 fts. Amarnath cave is around 150 ft high and 90 ft in length. There is a formation of Ice Shiv Lingum in this cave in the months of July-August in “Shravan “month according to the Indian calendar when the moon is in its full shape. This Ice Shiv Lingum changes its size as the moon waxes and wanes in different seasons. Therefore Sri Amarnath Shrine board, an organization to manage and look after Amaranth cave and the pilgrimage associated with it, organizes this Amarnath Yatra in the months of July-August when the Ice Shiva Lingum is at the peak of its formation around 6 ft in height. In the cave, along with Shiv Lingum, an Ice statue of Lord Ganesh and Devi Parvati appears on the left and right side of the Shiv Lingum respectively.

Discovery

The story of discovery of Amaranth cave as has been narrated since the time immortals credits a Gujjar (shepherd) named Buta Malik who was given a bag filled with coal by a saint. Upon reaching home he found the same bag full of coins. He returned back joyfully to thank the saint to the same place where he met him only to find the Amarnath cave there.

According to a yet another old tale, Kashyap  Rishi drained the Kashmir valley of water and then Bigesh Rishi discovered the Amaranth cave and Shiv Lingum while he was travelling in Himalayas.

Shri Amarnath Shrine Board

In Hindu deities, Lord Shiva is favorite god of not only Hindus, the world across, but also people from other religion and nationalities. People flock from various parts of the world to participate in this pilgrimage in the months of July –august every year. Therefore state government and His Excellency The Governor of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, by an action in Legislature 2000 constituted Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) to smoothly run this pilgrimage and manage the related affairs.

Amarnath yatra – valuable tips

For participating in Amarnath yatra, Pilgrims should carry sufficient quantity of woolen clothes along with them and women and girls should trek this yatra in salwar suits or pants and not in saris for convenience and ease. Excellent arrangements of food and water along with tents and beddings are made throughout this yatra for the pilgrims by the Jammu and Kashmir government TDC department and other private organization who organizes this pilgrimage.

How to reach

By Road You can reach Amarnath by road once you camp at Pahalgam (45 kms from Amaranth) or at Baltal (14 kms from Amarnath) where you can reach by road. From these camps people walk through the terrains on their foot or hire ponies to reach the Shrine.

By Rail Jammu is the nearest railway station if you plan to travel by Rail to Amarnath. From there you have to reach the Amarnath camps by the traditional means only to complete your Pilgrimage.

By Air The closest airport is at Badgam district which virtually connects all the Indian Cities. You can also reach this airport by hiring a helicopter service from Baltal or Srinagar.