Vaishno Devi Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir is an extremely highly revered sacred Shaktipeeth pilgrimage in India. Surrounded by scenic natural beauty the journey to Mata Rani Ka Darbar i.e. the holy cave shrine is a journey which every devout Hindu and devotee of the goddess makes sure to undertake. People often team up this holy visit with a wonderful sightseeing in Jammu and Kashmir which makes the...
Amarnath Yatra is one of the most-awaited and holy Hindu pilgrimage which takes place in one of the remotest locations in Jammu and Kashmir where devotees make their way to offer their prayer to the ice stalagmite form of Lord Shiva. The journey to amaranth is filled with surprises and if done properly this can be one of the most life-changing spiritual experiences that you may have. The trek to the sacred amaranth cave shrine is probably one of the most soul stirring and remarkable spiritual pilgrimage treks any devout Hindu pilgrim could take. People from all over the world make their way to this holy place of Shiva worship, brave the unexpected weather conditions and a rough terrain to reach this place of mysticism and incomparable charm.
Due to the nature of this trekking expedition one can barely imagine and not correctly calculate the risks involved. One can go through this completely detailed and informative guide to the cave shrine of Amaranth Yatra which is perfect for anybody looking to cover this pilgrimage on the remote hills. Forget about the hassles and enjoy this spiritual experience deeply the fascinating charm the trails encapsulates leaving you filled with serenity and tranquility and an experience that you may not easily forget.
How to Reach the Starting Head of Amaranth Yatra by Road:
The route of amaranth and the journey can be best experienced on foot and by trekking your way up and taking it easy. Remember not to stress yourself too much with the journey and more than the glories of the destination every travel is all about the journey. The trekking trail is made by cutting a very narrow path amidst the stunning beauty and on the side of a lush green mountain.
On a broader spectrum there are various ways of getting to Amarnath. The closest airport to amaranth is located in Srinagar airport and from Pahalgam which is one of the starting points of the trekking trail to Amaranth Yatra and is situated at a distance of 2 hours. Jammu and Kashmir airport remains the nearest railway station for Amarnath Yatra which is named as the Jammu Tavi Railway Station. Finally, from there on one can hire a helicopter or reach the starting point on foot or with the help of ponies.
The 2 Trekking Routes for Amaranth Trail:
There are overall 2 ways of trekking to the legendary and extremely pious cave shrine of lord Shiva one is from Pahalgam with the other one being at Baltal. Here is an informative guide that will help you pick the one that suits your need the best:
If you decide on taking this holy walking trip from Pahalgam then you should know that this starting point is located at a distance of 315 km which can be covered with the help of taxis and buses depending on your preference. One can easily book this service at the reception centre of tourists which is very reliable since it has been established by the government of Jammu and Kashmir in Raghunath bazaar and these transportation commences really early in the morning. If travelling via a flight journey then once you get off at the airport you can easily reach Pahalgam by road.
You shall be following the given route if you choose to begin your sacred journey from here:
Pahalgam – Chandanwari Base Camp – Pissu Top – Naga Koti (via Zoji Bal) – Sheshnag – Mahagunas Top – Pabibal – Panjtarni – Sangam – Amaranth Cave
Starting from Pahalgam, Chandanwari is situated at a distance of around 16 kms and then the trekker will make their way up to Chandanwari and up to Pissu top which is just 3 km away. The distance in between Pissu Top and your next stop of Sheshnag is 9 km. then your next leg of the journey commences from Sheshnag to Panjtarni which is at a distance of 12 km and finally, the holy cave of Lord Shiva is just 6 km away.
Here is a brief itinerary if you plan on going to amaranth cave shrine from this route:
Day 1 – Jammu – Pahalgam
Day 2 – Pahalgam – Chandanwari – Sheshnag via Pissu Top
Day 3 – Sheshnag – Mahagunas Top – Panjtarni – holy cave via Sangam Point.
You can choose 2 ways of getting to Baltal which are either by taking a bus ride from Jammu to Baltal or by road from Srinagar. From Jammu, Baltal is situated at a distance of 400 kms and it can also be covered through widely available taxi, cabs and bus services. You shall be crossing places like Patnitop, Kazigund, Anantnag, Srinagar and Sonmarg en route.
The following route map will be followed if you begin this holy pilgrimage from Baltal:
Baltal – Domail – Barari Marg – Sangam – Holy Cave
Clearly, if compared with the Pahalgam route, Baltal route is much smaller however, the catch 22 situation here is that, even if the this route is short it is extremely challenging with difficult ascents whereas although the Pahalgam route is lengthier it the trail that entails is very simple and take th pilgrim through a comparatively easier terrain up to the holy cave of the lord.
Your journey will kick start from Baltal and take you to Domail which is located at a distance of just 2 kms and then you shall carry on to Barari Marg which is located at a distance of 5 kms from Domail. The finally you shall be making your way to the holy cave via Sangam which is situated at a distance of 3 km from Sangam and the Sangam itself is situated at a distance of 4 km from Barari Marg.
the distance of the holy cave of Amarnath from Baltal is just 14 kms which can be completed in 1 day if you are an avid mountaineer or are used to trekking in rough terrains. If not then you can stay for the night in between the trek to refresh and continue the journey the next day since the route takes you through some serious steep rises and falls in terrains which can even be covered with the help of ponies or dandies if not on foot.
Tips for Successfully Completing Amarnath Yatra Trek:
- It is recommended that senior citizens over the age of 75 years and kids below 18 years are not recommended to undertake this journey since you will be going to a very high elevation making it very uncomfortable for you.
- Since you may already know when your travel date is, you must start exercising and keeping yourself fit by working out for at least 20 minute to half an hour every day. This will get your body ready for the trip and you shall be able to bear the challenging temperature and terrain with a lot more ease and comfort. It doesn’t have to be heavy gym equipment work out, you can choose to go walking, do some breathing exercises, yoga, aerobics etc.
- One does not have to worry about food availability and shelter since there are several food Bhandaras serving delicious and freshly made food to energise the pilgrims on their way.
- Carry a garbage bag with you and remember not to pollute these pristine Himalayan regions which are very fragile. This is an abode of the lord and you must not litter irresponsibly anywhere.
- You shall be given a permit where the date and time of your travel will be mentioned, remember to follow it religiously and not flout the rules whatsoever. Although the devoted soldiers of the Indian army are present here to ensure that nothing goes wrong in worst case scenario.
- Remember not to forget to carry essentials like a cap, sunscreen, mufflers, gloves, good pair of walking shoes, paper soap and hand towels. Do not buy new bottles of water instead keep a good quality of thermos with you that you can keep refilling in various spots where you get food.
- Medical kit is a significant thing that you should not forget under any case. Remember to carry medication (after consulting with your doctor) that deals with high altitude sickness like diamox, and of course you must carry medicines like pain killers, anti-diarrhea, anti-fever etc.
- In case of documentation remember to carry a valid ID proof which is latest and updated since you never know when you may need it.
- Through this guide for Amarnath trek one can even take this legendary journey on their own and walk on the path created by the lord himself or one can even book one of the several available tour packages for Amarnath depending on your preference and budgetary constraints.
Frequently Asked Questions for Amarnath Yatra Trek:
- When Does the Trekking for Amarnath Yatra Begin?
The doors for the pilgrims to Amarnath cave shrine begin from the month of June and goes on till September.
- Is Registration Necessary?
Registration is very important, for every pilgrim embarking on this trip either on foot or any other way of travelling. The registration for every Yatra is done keeping in mind the safety and security reasons for the pilgrims taking this journey.
- What is the Age Bar for Registering for Amarnath Yatra?
Children below the age of 13 and above the age of 75 are not permitted to go on this journey under any circumstance. Women who are over 6 weeks pregnant are also not allowed to register for Amarnath Yatra.
- When is the Best Time to go on a Trekking journey to Amarnath?
Being situated at a very harsh and challenging location, the best and the most recommended time for you to go to the holy cave on foot is during the opening time which falls on the summer months of June and July. These 2 months are way better in case of predictability than the following months.
- What are the Documents Required to Attain the Yatra Permit?
The registration officer will require your filled application form along with a prescribed CHC or a compulsory health certificate which is legally authorized by a medical institution and 4 recent passport sized pictures. This would be all the documentation that you will need.
Things to Know about Amarnath Yatra Registration Procedure:
As mentioned earlier, every Yatri taking this trip (even if it is by walking or by helicopter), is required to mandatorily get themselves registered. Here are some general things one should definitely know about this registration procedure and others:
- Designated bank branches for various brands are the places where one can get their registrations done as a Yatra with ease. You can know where it is done by Googling online or by checking your local newspaper.
- All the registrations for the Yatris are done by the first come first serve basis so make sure to get done completely with your registration procedure beforehand in order to ensure a sport in the Yatra.
- You must know that every designated bank is given a fixed per day registration quota that they cannot exceed. So one has to be on time.
- Remember to research and make sure which route you shall be taking for the journey i.e. Pahalgam or Baltal since the permit will have your name for the starting point of the route. Remember to research well on this topic and go through the above guide again to be totally sure.
- Know this, the Yatra permit is only valid for 1 person, 1 permit, so you cannot share the permit that is exclusively given to you.
- In order to obtain you Yatra permit for sure you will be required to also submit a CHC or a compulsory health certificate since it is a part of the format for the application form for the permit. This application form for the registration and CHC is easily available widely online and this list also remains constantly updated so you can rely on this information.