Thursday, 21 June 2012

Photo Tour of Amarnath Yatra 2011


Amarnath YatraAmarnath Mountain is located at the height of 14,500 ft (4,000 meters) in Jammu & Kashmir. The mountain is sacred for Hindus because of the formation of lingam (Shivling) at the mountain.  Jammu and Kashmir Government organized the Amarnath Yatra every year during the month of sharavan (July and August). The dates vary every year looking at the weather conditions and according to Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) in the month of Sharavan (Vikrama Samwat). About 400,000 faithful devotees make their pilimigrage to Amaranth every year during the festival of Shravan Mela in June to August.
Yatra to Baba Amarnath Holy Cave is full of thrill and joy. The feeling of divine which is always beneath ones’ heart, burst out and one realises ‘Moksha’ as one attends the Cave and perform the prayer before the Shivlinga. Surrounded by beautiful valleys, mountains, one will always feel His presence on the paradise of the earth, the memory of which hardly vanishes with time. A journey which will rediscover the nature and its love which is always inside but one has never felt.
Inside the main Amarnath cave lies an ice stalagmite resembling the Shiva Linga, which waxes during May to August and gradually wanes thereafter. This lingam is said to grow and shrink with the phases of the moon, reaching its height during the summer festival. According to Hindu mythology, this is the cave where Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his divine consort Parvati. Two other ice formations represent Parvati and Shiva’s son, Ganesha.
There are generally two routes to reach to Amarnath Caves:
  • Jammu-Pahalgam-Amarnath Cave: Jammu to Pahalgam is about 315 Km that can be covered by the conveyance of Taxi and Buses. Pahalgam is situated on the banks of Lidder River surrounded by the natural beauty of valleys and mountains. From Pahalgam, you will reach Chandanwari (trek of 16 Kms) and second day after a trek of 12 kms from Chandanwari, Panchtarni, and finally the Holy Cave Shri Amarnath.
  • Jammu-Baltal-Amarnath Cave: This is another route trek to reach to Amarnath from Jammu with a total distance of about 400 Kms. This route is little quicker as you can cover the Yatra on the same day. The important destinations covered under this route are Udhampur – Kud – Patnitop – Ramban – Banihal; Kazi Gund – Anantnag – Srinagar – Sonamarg – Baltal. From Baltal, you need to trek for 14 kms to reach to holy cave.
Earlier, there was helicopter service which used to take piligrims directly from Somarg to Amarnath Cave. However, the government stopped the direct service owing to disturbance in eco system. Two operatorsHimalayan Heli and Pawan Hans have been shortlisted for helicopter operation for Shri Amarnathji Yatra 2010 and 2011. The route Baltal-Panchtarni-baltal and tariff for helicopter service have been cleared by Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board. Each operator would be flying two helicopters each on Baltal-Panchtarni-Baltal. Helicopter service by another operator is also available on pahalgam-Panchtarni-Pahalgam sector.
Route Map
This time, we choose to take the  route from Baltal, as it was planned to visit the holy cave and come back same day. The yatra started from is is the started with the view of majestic mountains and spectacular valley.
Amarnath Yatra 2011The other side of the deep valley…the pilgrims need to walk on narrow path along these deep valley.
Amarnath Yatra 2011The river flowing in between mighty mountains..
Amarnath Yatra 2011There was still ice along the river bank. During the winter, the river remains completely frozen.
Amarnath Yatra 2011There is an narrow path and everyone, including pedestrian, people on horses and on  dandi / doli (chair) share the same path. Lots of accidents are reported every year as the path is very narrow and the number of pilgrims are really high.
Difficult TerrainPilgrims need to pay around Rs. 4,000 for using horses and Rs. 7,000 for using dandi / doli for both side (going up and coming back).Amarnath Yatra 2011 - WalkPilgrims need to cross many glaciers on the ways from Domail to Barari (5 km stretch).
Yaatri to AmarnathYaatri to Amarnath
Narrow Path - Amarnath YaatraAfter crossing the snow path, you can see the holy Amarnath Cave. There are lots of tents available at Panchatarni on the rent. Pilgrims who want to stay back for one night can book their accommodation before the start of the final leg of the journey.
Crossing Glaciers - Amarnath Yatra
Tent before Amarnath Caves
Panchatarni to Holy Cave of Amarnath ji distance is 6 Kms , Pilgrims have to travel from Panchatarni to Amarnth Shrine in same day because there is no place to stay in between. These is beautiful sangam of river Amaravati & Panchatarni, Some pilgrims take bath at river Amarawati before Darshan of Amarnath.
Crossing River - Snow Bridge - Amarnath Yatra
Crossing River - Snow Bridge - Amarnath YatraFrom Sangam, you can see the mouth of the cave and a long queue of pilgrims…the gate for darshan opens at 5 A.M. However, people start making queue at 4:00 A.M. itself.
You will need to stand in the queue to move up for darshan. the photography is prohibited inside the temple complex. In order to maintain the sanctity of the place, our traveler decided not to take any close photographs of the place….
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15 comments:

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