Call Us :  +91-9810130856
Email :
indiaexpedition@gmail.com

 

HOME

ABOUT US

TOUR PACKAGES

HOTEL BOOKING TOUR BOOKING CAR RENTALS CONTACT US
.
Destinations India
New Delhi
Agra
Rajasthan
Kerala
Goa
Jammu & Kashmir
Ladakh
Himachal Pradesh
Hill Stations in India
Buddhism in India
India Pilgrim Tours
Wildlife in India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KASHMIR TOUR >> CITIES TOUR

AMARNATH YATRA TOUR


The Himalayan pilgrimages are the oldest organised travel system, evolved over time by Hindu sages and embodying the spirit of wander, adventure and spirituality"

Shiva, in the form of a lingam, One of the holy trinity, Shiva is a living god. The most ancient and sacred book of India, the Rig Veda evokes his presence in its hymns. Vedic myths, ritual and even astronomy testify to his existence from the dawn of time.

Shiva is known to have made his home in the Himalayas. He built no house nor shelter, not for himself or for his bride. He was an ascetic and yet married; he could be both for "he was the wild god sporting in the forest or taking his ease on a cloud."

Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in the Amarnathji cave. Unknown to them, a pair of mating pigeons 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 pigeons-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).

The trek to Amarnathji, in the month of Shravan (July - August) has the devout flock to this incredible shrine, where the image of Shiva, in the form of a lingam, is formed naturally of an ice - stalagmite, and which waxes and wanes with the moon. By its side are, fascinatingly, two more ice - lingams, that of Parvati and of their son, Ganesha.
 

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 the 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 descendants of Malik, and the remaining to the trust which manages the shrine.

Yet another legend has it that when Kashap Reshi drained the Kashmir valley of water (it was believed to have been a vast lake), the cave and the lingam were discovered by Bregish Reshi who was travelling the Himalayas. When people heard of the lingam, Amarnathji for them became Shiva's abode and a centre of pilgrimage.

Yatra Procession

The Yatra Procession

Whatever the legends and the history of Amarnathji's discovery, it is today a very important centre of pilgrimage and though the route is as difficult to negotiate as it is exciting, every year, thousands of devotees come to pay homage before Shiva in one of his famous Himalayan abodes.

Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder valley, Amarnathji stands at 3,888 m and is 45 km from Pahalgam and 141 km from Srinagar. Though the original pilgrimage subscribes that the yatra be undertaken from Srinagar, the more common practice is to begin the journey from Pahalgam, and cover the distance to Amarnathji and back in four or five days. Pahalgam is 96 km from Srinagar.

Since the base point for the pilgrim's trek is picturesque Pahalgam, a large tented township springs up to accommodate the pilgrims. The conduct of the yatra is a gigantic task in which the State Government takes the assistance of the security departments for providing security and helping to keep the route open. All intermediate halting places have the same kind of facilities as are provided at Pahalgam, and a Yatra Officer is appointed to conduct the pilgrimage.

Trek: Pahalgam To Amarnath Cave Via Mahagunas Pass
Main Trek Base:
Altitude:
4,175m (13,700ft).
Alternative Trek:
Sonamarg To Amarnath


During the yatra, stages of the walk are carefully controlled by the Indian authorities. The first stage of the trek is to Chandanwadi, the second to Sheshnag and the third over the Mahagunas Pass to Panchtami. Many pilgrims visit the cave from Panchtami and return to Sheshnag the same day, walking back to Pahalgam on the fifth day.
 

Day 1: Pahalgam To Chandanwadi         
(Average walking time 4 hours)

The trail leaves Pahalgam on a bitumen road, past the Shankar temple and along the east Liddar valley. The trail is easy to follow indeed it is suitable for jeeps as far as Chandanwadi (2,900m). There are many obvious short cuts on the route, and a number of tea stalls, as this first Day always seems to be quite hot. The campsite is in a pleasant glade just before the main line of tea stalls.

Day 2: Chandanwadi To Sheshnag           
(Average walking time 5 to 6 hours)

From Chandanwadi the trail winds steeply for 500m to the summit of ridge known as Pisu Top (3,390m). From here, there are commanding views back down the valley to the mountains beyond Pahalgam. During the main pilgrimage, the tea stall owners do a thriving business, which keeps the pilgrims going on the long incline to the next main resting area at Wawajana (3,550m). From here it is two to three km further to Sheshnag (3,720m). The glacial lake is set in remarkable surroundings, its waters reflecting the snow capped peaks of Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. Rumour among pilgrims has it that the lake is inhabited by a serpent of Loch Ness monster proportions, so it's advisable not to camp too close to the water's edge.

Day 3: Sheshnag To Panchtarni               
(Average walking time 6 hours)

The trail gradually ascends from Sheshnag with magnificent views of the mountains immediately above. The ascent towards the Mahagunas Pass winds up to a grassy plateau, and from there on to the pass it is a further hour's climb. The sign at the top of the pass states the height as 4,270m. It is not a dramatic pass, but it is still no mean achievement for the pilgrims, many of whom have never been beyond the Indian plains before.

The descent to Panchtarni (3,450m) is quite long and tiring, but there are frequent flowered meadows to rest in and admire. The campsite can be seen from afar; and behind, on a further ridge, the bare, treeless mountain scape resembles the terrain on the far side of the Himalayas. There are more spacious campsites upstream from the main camping area, and these are also a little cleaner.

Day 4: Panchtarni To Amarnath Cave & Return    
(Average walking time 5 hours return)

The actual time to the cave will depend on whether one's trek coincides with the main pilgrimage. During the pilgrimage an early start is essential, with many of the pilgrims move more steadily and slowly than on the rest of the trek, as if in awe of their surroundings.

The climb to the Singh Pass (3,850m) is gradual before the trail enters the Amarnath valley. It descends to a permanently blackened snow bridge, which fords the Amarvati stream before ascending the true right back to the base of the mountain. From here the final ascent is up a series of concrete steps to the entrance to the Amarnath Cave (4,050m). The J&K police manning the entrance to the cave only permit a limited number of pilgrims inside at any one time.

Day 5: Panchtarni To Chandanwadi           
(Average walking time 8 hours)

Many pilgrims return from Panchtarni to Chandanwadi in one day. After completing their pilgrimage to the cave most are happy to trek as far as they can the following Day.

Day 6: Chandanwadi To Pahalgam
(Average walking time 4 hours)

On the final Day most pilgrims arrive back in the Pahalgam bazaar with enough time to complete the drive to Srinagar or Jammu the same day.

ALTERNATE TREK: -               

SONAMARG AMARNATH              
Although the traditional yatra trek to the Amarnath cave is from Pahalgam one can also go there from Sonamarg.

Day 1: Sonamarg-Baltal                       

This 15-km trek takes about five hours and it's an easy walk since there is little altitude change between Sonamarag and Baltal. One should be able to get a lift on a truck to the roadblock, from there on it is better to walk. The roadblock is closed until noon or later, waiting for traffic to come across the Zoji la from Ladakh. From the roadblock one can walk along the river valley track, which is very pleasant. The river valley track is also 2 to 3-km shorter than the vehicle road. A military camp is the first sign of Baltal, which can be reached in a day from Srinagar.

Day 2: Baltal-Amarnath                

The 15-km trek to Amarnath climbs over a thousand metres from Baltal at 2,743 metres to the cave at 4,175 metres and the walk takes about nine to 10 hours. The route crosses one major snow bridge over a river and climbs steadily up, crossing the Satsing pass, 3 -km before Amarnath, at 4,115 metres dropping down and then climbing up again to the cave at 4,175 metres. There are some tea stalls along the way, even at the river, and after the junction with the main trail there are even more.

From Amarnath one can follow the traditional yatra trail down to Pahalgam.

Option: 
Amarnath to Baltal & Sonamarg from the Amarnath cave return along the pilgrim trail as far as the junction of the Panchtarni and Amarvati rivers. Here the trails divert, with the track to Baltal heading down the true right of the valley. The trail is prone to rock avalanches where it traverses large scree slopes and one should be wary of descending without first checking its condition. If there are no problems, the trek to Baltal can be completed in about four hours.

GETTING AWAY          

Road: From Baltal there is a regular bus service during the pilgrimage period, getting back to Srinagar that night. At other times, camp at Baltal and continue to Sonamarg at a more leisurely pace the following morning. From Sonamarg there are three buses a day to Srinagar and the drive takes around five hours.


KASHMIR  TOUR BOOKING FORM/ RESERVATION

Name :          Street Address :
E-mail :          City :                       
Telephone : State:                     
Fax Code :   Country :             
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOUR INFORMATION  
Arrival & Departure Details 
Arrival Date
Flight Number
From ( City )
Departure Date
Flight Number
To (City)
Number of passengers on tour Adults Children
 
Other Preferences & Services Required :`
                 
 

HOME     |    ABOUT US   |    TOUR PACKAGES   |    HOTEL BOOKING   |    TOUR BOOKING   |    CAR RENTALS   |    CONTACT US   |   

 PILGRIM INDIA TOUR     |       HILL STATION INDIA      |      HIMACHAL TOUR        |    LADAKH TOUR       |     BUDDHIST TOUR      |      WILDLIFE INDIA TOUR  

Copyright  2006-2012 India Expedition, Inc. All rights reserved.