With the holy chant of Om Namah Shivaya, the 46-day-long annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir is all set to commence on June 1 this year. The Amarnath yatra will begin from Pahalgam and Baltal routes in Anantnag and Ganderbal districts respectively.
It is to be noted that the Amarnath yatra this year would commence on Masik Shivratri, according to the Hindu calendar, and would conclude on 15 August, the day of Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan festival.
Everyone on India knows that the Amarnath shrine is formed every year inside the cave as the freezing water drops fall from the cave's roof. And obviously, many of you would have already registered for Amarnath yatra. Aren’t you? If not, then News Nation brings the first visual of holy Shiva Lingam at Amarnath. Take a glimpse of the first look of the holy Shiva Lingam in the video:
The cave shrine is situated at a height of 3,888 metres above sea level and has two routes leading to it, one from Pahalgam, about 100 km from Srinagar, and another from Baltal, 110 km from Srinagar.
The pilgrimage routes pass through high mountains and glaciers, involving a steep climb, and most of the track, despite clearance of snow, is slippery and full of slush, making it difficult for the pilgrims to negotiate the tortuous terrain.
A naturally made stalagmite of snow considered to be an ice "lingam" or icon of Lord Shiva is the main attraction of the cave shrine. It is believed that Lord Shiva had narrated the tale of immortality to his consort, the Goddess Parvati at the cave. Thus, it is known as "Amarnath", which when translated means "Lord of immortality".
Last year, over 2.87 lakh pilgrims visited Amarnath. Notably, the 60-day long annual yatra to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir Himalayas commenced on June 28 concluded on August 26.