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June 23, 2015

Amarnath Yatra 2015 commences on July 2, concludes on Aug 29

Amarnath Cave is a cave temple to Lord Shiva in Jammu and Kashmir, the northern-most State bordering Pakistan and China. J&K is composed of three regions, viz., Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, located northwards in that order. Kargil, now wellknown for the war with Pakistan a few years ago, falls in Ladakh, mostly inhabited by Buddhists. Kashmir has Muslim majority and Jammu, down south, touching the mainland, has majority Hindus. Amarnath is 140 km away from State Capital Srinagar, in Anantnag district of Kashmir. It is at an altitude of 13,000 ft.

The Amarnath yatra usually begins in June every year and is seasonal. This year it is scheduled to commence on July 2 and will close on August 29. The flow of pilgrims from the rest of India has been restricted by registration and number. it is conducted by the Amarnath Shrine Board, which also takes care of the security issues. From Jammu, it takes around five days. There are mainly two routes: The upper route via Baltal is difficult as one has to trek more; the lower side route via Chandanwari is the most common.

You should prepare an itineray for a comfortable trip. Jammu is the nearest railway station. Book a taxi or Govt bus from Raghunath Bazaar in Jammu city for Pahalgam, 300 km away, and preferably take the morning transport.

You can camp here at Pahalgam for overnight or straightaway proceed to the next point, ie, Chandanwari, 15 km away, by mini bus etc and halt there.

Next day, the second day, from Chandanwari one can go to Sheshnag (12 km) via Pissu Top and stay there for the second night. There is Sheshnag lake to see.

The third day the journey begins from Sheshnag to Panchtarni (6 km). Take care of altitude sickness as you approach the 14,000 ft high Mahangunas pass, before you again plunge to Panchtarni where it will be too cold to bear. Here one can rest overnight.

Now comes the final assault. It is Panchtarni to Amarnath Cave (6 km). Start early morning and plan to return by evening. As there is no place enough to halt at the cave temple premises, one has to schedule a non-stop return to Panchtarni after taking bath in the Amravati river and having darshan of the Lord, at times in a diminishing and at times in an enhancing linga form. The formation is ice. There have had been occasions, although very rare, that the idol was not visible at all.

The registration is done a month in advance, mostly through the banks all across the country. There are certain do's and dont's one MUST take care of. And there are also certain mandatory requirements.

Helicopter service has started from Baltal and Pahalgam, on each route, to Panchtarni. The fare is around Rs 3,000.

Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board Contact No +911942501679, +919469722210
Email : sasbjk2001@gmail.com

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