Amarnath Yatra is one of the well known Yatra devoted to the Lord Shiva or Mahadev located at the height of around four thousand meters on the Amar Nath Mountain in Jammu & Kashmir. The Yatra of Amarnath is popular pilgrimage site for Hindus from the old days which are reported to be around 5000 years old. About 400,000 faithful devotees make their Yatra to Amarnath every year during the festival of Shravan Mela in June to August.
One of the holy Trinity, Shiva is a living God. The most sacred and the most ancient book of India, the Rigveda evokes his presence in its hymns. Vedic myths, rituals and even astronomy testify to his existence from the dawn of time. But Shiva, the Destroyer, and mendicant, is undefinable. He is a great yogi. Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in a Cave in Amarnath. Unkown to them a pair of mating doves eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the pair of doves when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam.
According to an ancient tale, there was once a Muslim Shepherd named Buta Malik who was given a sack of coal by a sadhu. Upon reaching home he discovered that the sack, in fact, contained Gold. Overjoyed and overcome, Buta Malik rushed back to look for sadhu and thank him. But on the spot of their meeting discovered a cave, and eventually this became a place of pilgrimage for all believers. To date, a percentage of the donations made by pilgrims are given to the descendents of Malik, and the remaining to the trust which manages the shrine. Yet another legend has it that when Kashyap Rishi drained the Kashmir valley of water the cave and lingam were discovered by Bregeish Rishi who was traveling through the Himalayas. When people heard of the lingam at Amarnath it began to be worshipped as Shiva's abode and a center of pilgrimage
Mid-June to Mid-October.
By Air: The nearest Airport is away in Badgam Distt. This Airport is connected with major cities of India.
By Rail: The nearest Rail Head is at Jammu which is 300 Kms away and from there National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with country.
By Road: Every sort of transport to suit every budget from Buses to Taxis ply on the NH1A Highway. It takes around 10 to 12 hours to cross this mountaineous road which crosses some beautiful spots and the famous Jawahar Tunnel linking Kashmir Valley with country.
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