Amarnath Yatra – India pilgrimage tour
The sacred Amarnath Yatra is the encapsulation of the culture, ethos, secularism and religious fervor that still elevates the charm and beauty of India, which is the cradle of the world’s oldest organized religion, Hinduism. The gods, goddesses and deities are not only the embodiments of a supernatural power here, but are the great path-illuminators who help the human civilization to walk on the way to salvation. The trinity god Shiva in Hinduism is considered to be static as well as dynamic; creator as well as destroyer at the same time. Among various other abodes of Lord Shiva, the Amarnath cave in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is the one such holy destination that attracts thousands (sometime lacks) of pilgrims every year despite its harsh geographical conditions.
Pilgrims from all around the world set off to the holy Amarnath Yatra every year to get the blessings of Lord Shiva and to delve into the eternal knowledge of life and death. There are various mythical stories interwoven in and around this holy cave among which one story depicts that Lord Shiva once disclosed the eternal truth of life and death to Goddess Parvati in this sacred cave only. Located 13,000 feet above the sea level, this cave is believed to be as old as time.
Resembling the Shiva Lingam is an ice stalagmite in the cave which becomes almost 9 feet tall when fully grown. This naturally manicured ice lingam never fails to move, amaze and convince the pilgrims to the unquestionable divinity of Lord Amarnath. There are two routes through which the pilgrims can reach the holy cave; the traditional southern route which is believed to be taken by Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, starts from Pahalgam. A 40 kilometer long way covers en-route Chandanwadi, Seshnag, Ganesh top, Panchtarani and Sangam. Another route is the shortest one spanning over just 16 kilometers of road, but is hardest one and is quite difficult to climb.
For people who are unable to cross such a long distance on foot, the Amarnath Yatra by helicopter is also available. An Amarnath Yatra by helicopter is a great deal for people who are struggling with their hectic schedule and has little time to go for a long trip. While reaching the sacred shrine by helicopter, the pilgrims can savor a green ride to the valley of gods and goddesses. The bird’s eye view of the valley with floating river amid the green woodland is a great feast for the visual senses of the pilgrims.
The great Amarnath Yatra is not just a holy journey to the shrine of lord Shiva, but is a merriment festival that bears witness to the unity between the Hindus and the Muslims. A large number of Muslim people help the pilgrims by various means to reach the sacred destination. Each yatri or pilgrim has their own story to narrate and after the end of this sacred voyage, the voyagers experience an overwhelming peace. For many it is an annual affair that give them strength of mind to work and fight with adversities throughout the year. There are thousands of foreign travelers also who set off to the Amarnath Yatra while they are in their tour to India.