A place that would mesmerize you with its ice stalagmite, a place referred to as one of the holiest shrines of India bestowed in the caves that are surrounded by snowy peaks, a place that was forgotten after the Middle Age and was later discovered by a shepherd and, a place that is a famed Yatra destination for the Hindus. Yes, Amarnath Cave Temple, located approximately 141km from Srinagar is one of the popular Hindu shrines that can be accessed from the Pahalgam town. As the name suggests cave, it is fully covered with snow and only during the summer, the ice melts and makes way for the pilgrims to see the ice Shiva Lingam.
People say that this is the place Lord Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his consort, Goddess Parvati. Before entering the cave he left behind the Nandi at Pahalgam, released the moon at Chandanwari and snakes at Lake Sheshnag, left his son; Lord Ganesha back at Mahaganesh Mountain and at Panjtarni, he sacrificed the five elements. The existence of this place comes in two ways; wherein the first one, it was the shepherd who discovered this place and in another it says, the valley of Kashmir was submerged under water, a Muni drained it through streams and rivers and then he was the first one to have the darshan of Lord Mahadev. Thus, the snow-capped mountains during summer melts and water flowing through the cave form the shape of a Lingam. Since then it has become an abode of Lord Shiva and a pilgrimage in numbers of lakhs is done every year to this place.
Generally, the Yatra is made in the months of June to August with Pratham Pujan at the beginning to get the blessings of Lord Shiva. From Delhi, you can board a bus till Shimla and then take a cab or a bus to Pahalgam. At this place, pilgrims start packing clothes and foods as they have to travel by foot to reach the Shrine which would come up to five days of travel. On the route to the Shrine, several non- profit organizations supply food and resting tents to the pilgrims. Of all the years, 2013 holds the maximum number of pilgrims visiting the Shrine.
If you are a die- hard devotee or interested in making a darshan at this auspicious place, make your bus bookings at TicketGoose at the earliest as the dates have been announced for the Yatra that is starting from 29th June to 7th August.