|PISSU TOP||3377||11000||3.0 KM||CHANDANWARI|
|SHESHNAG||3352||11730||11.0 KM||PISSU TOP|
|MAHAGUNAS||4276||14000||4.6 KM||SHESH NAG|
|PANCHTARNI||3657||12000||9.4 KM||MAHAGUNUS TOP|
|HOLY CAVE||3952||13000||3.0 KM||SANGAM|
Amarnath is located in Jammu and Kashmir and is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Amarnath Temple is one among the most revered Hindu pilgrimage places in India. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that this is where Lord Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his wife Parvati. Inside the main Amarnath Cave sits a giant ice stalagmite that is supposed to resemble the Shiva Ling. Every year thousands of pilgrims make this difficult trek up into the mountains to show their devotion to Lord Shiva. The ice Shiva Ling forms between the months of May to August and then gradually melts away. The other ice formations in this cave represent Shiva and Parvati's son Ganesh.
Children who are below the age of 13 years and persons above the age of 75 years will not be eligible to undertake the Amarnath Yatra 2015.
How to Reach Amarnath
Air: The closest airport to Amarnath is Srinagar, located at a distance of around 95 km from Pahalgam, the base camp for Amarnath Yatra. Srinagar is connected to major cities in India by airlines such as Air India, GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways, JetKonnect and Spicejet. Pawan Hans and Himalayan Heli Helicopters also fly to Amarnath and can be booked through their official websites www.pawanhans.co.in or www.himalayanheli.com or www.onlineglobalhelicorp.com
Rail: The nearest railhead to Amarnath is Jammu, located at a distance of around 315 km from Pahalgam, the base camp for Amarnath Yatra. Major trains connecting Amarnath to other parts of the country are:
- Delhi: Jammu Rajdhani
- Chennai: Andaman Express
- Howrah: Himgiri Express
- Ahmedabad: Sarvodaya Express
- Jamnagar: Jam Jat Express
- Pune: Jhelum Express
The journey by road (walking) passes through Pahalgam to the holy Cave and covers a distance of about 46 kilometres. The distance to be covered from Pahalgam to Amarnath is as follows:
Pahalgam to Chandanwari - 16 km
Chandanwari to Pissu Top - 3 km
Pissu Top to Sheshnag - 12 km
Sheshnag to Panchtarni - 6 km
Panchtarni to Holy Cave - 6 km
Accommodation in Amarnath
Many government and non-government, charitable organisations provide tent accommodation and community kitchen (langar) facilities to pilgrims at a very nominal price or at times even free of cost.
- Achieve physical fitness a month before the Yatra.
- Begin deep breathing exercise as there is lack of oxygen at high altitudes.
- Carry warm and comfortable clothes during the Yatra as temperatures can drop radically.
- Carry a raincoat and torch as it might rain or snow during the Yatra.
- Keep some identification document of yourself with you all the time.
- Carry a water bottle and some dry fruits to snack on the journey.
- Keep a moisturizer or a cold cream to protect your skin from dry conditions.
- Follow the instructions given by the Yatra administration.
- Carry basic medication along with you.
- Take regular breaks and try not to exert yourself too much during the climb.