Amaranth, nestled amidst the snowy peaks of Majestic Himalayas in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is one of the most venerated pilgrim destinations in India. Renowned worldwide for its holy cave dedicated to Lord Shiva, Amarnath is perched at a high altitude of 4175 meters above sea level. The devout land of Amarnath is said to be the holy abode of Lord Shiva, the Hindu God of destruction and a naturally formed ‘Shivalinga’ of ice is the major attraction in the cave that symbolizes the presence of the Lord.
According to the legends, the sacred cave of Amarnath is the place where Lord Shiva narrated the secret of salvation to Parvati on a full moon night and thus is considered a religious place blessed with divine sanctity and tranquility. Every year in the month of July or August, a huge ice pillar in the form of lingam emerges naturally within the cave which is believed to be the symbol of Lord Shiva and in order to take the holy darshan of this place, thousands of devotees all across the globe come to Amarnath after crossing an ardent climb across the high snowy peaks of the Himalayas.
While travelling across the silver snowy paths and picture perfect surroundings dotted with mesmerizing grasslands and alluring landscapes, the devotees cross through the arduous voyage to reach this highest religious destination of Amarnath. The base point for starting the journey to Amarnath is from the picturesque small town of Pahalgam and thus it has been now flourished well to give good accommodation to the pilgrims.
However for reaching the holy cave of Amarnath, generally two routes are followed by the travelers
The popular route to begin the journey is from Pahalgam which is at a distance of 47 km from the Amaranth cave. This route follows like this way- Pahalgam- Nunwan- Chandanwari (16 km) - Pissu Top (3 km) - Sheshnag (9km)-Panchtarni (13 km) - Amarnath Cave (6 km). In between the route, some of the places also offer accommodation facility to the pilgrims such as Pahalgam, Sheshnag and Panchtarni. Moreover, for the ease of the travelers, pony, palki and porters are also available on rent between Chandanwari and the main cave.
Another route for Amarnath begins from Baltal and is located at a distance of 15 km from the cave. This route follows like this- Baltal- Domail- Baragi- Sangam- Amarnath Cave. Though, none of the accommodation options is available on this way but this route is quite shorter as compared to the first one and it can be completed in a single day. But still this route is not popularly followed by the pilgrims as it is very steep and ardent and landslides may also occur frequently.