The state of Jammu and Kashmir is a home of many religious places. One of the most important is Amarnath Temple. The cave is an altitude of 3,888m. It is 141km away from Srinagar and can be reached through the town of Pahalgam. This shrine is considered to be one of the holiest in the Hindu religion. It is covered by snow capped mountains from all the sides throughout the year.
It is believed that Bhrigu Muni was the first one who discovered Amarnath Cave. Centuries ago, Kashmir Valley was submerged under water. It was Kashyap Muni who drained it through a series of rivers. When the water was drained out, Bhrigu Muni was the first person who had Darshan of Lord Amarnath. Then after that, people heard of the Lingam, it became the abode of Lord Bholenath for all believers. The locals of Gadaria community were the first one to discover the Amarnath cave and saw the first glimpse of Baba Barfani, according to some researchers.
Yatra to Amarnath
This year the Amarnath Yatra will start from 1st of July that is supposed to be called as Masik Shivratri according to the Hindu Calender. It will continue till 15th of August. It is a 46-day-long annual pilgrimage. The Yatra starts from the Nunwan and Chandanwari base camps at Pahalgam. It reaches cave-shrine after night halts at Sheshnag Lake and Panchtarni camps. A good amount of revenue is earned by the state government by imposing tax on pilgrims. It is also a good time for the localites to earn some money as they can offer services to the Hindu pilgrims like accommodations, food, etc.
Since the day registration began, more than 50,000 people have already registered themselves for this year’s yatra on the very first day. The online booking of helicopter tickets for yatra was commenced on May 1. This year Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) has made arrangements with Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd. and Himalayan Heli Services Pvt. Ltd. on the Neelgrath (Baltal)-Panjtarni-Neelgrath (Baltal) route and UTair India Pvt. Ltd. on the Pahalgam-Panjtarni-Pahalgam route.
Umang Narula who is Chief Executive Officer SASB said, “Based on competitive bidding, the one way per passenger helicopter fare for Neelgrath (Baltal)-Panjtarni has been fixed at Rs1804. Similarly, the one-way Pahalgam-Panjtarni fare will be Rs 3104.”
The CEO even advised yatris to beware of the frauds when they are booking tickets for helicopter. Tickets only from the authorized helicopter operators won’t mislead them like others. People who are having some health issues should carry their health certificate otherwise they won’t be allowed to take a ride.
Children under the age of 13 years and those who are above 75 years of age and women who are more than six weeks pregnant will not be registered for the yatra.
The board had decided that 7,500 Yatris will be routed per day, excluding the ones travelling by helicopters. The officials have directed the pilgrims to consider the difficult climatic changes and terrain in the high altitude region of the yatra. They should prepare themselves before starting the pilgrimage.
The governor of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik also reviewed security arrangements to ensure the safety of pilgrims. We also wish the same for the pilgrims. Stay safe and enjoy the beauty of Kashmir.