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Amar Nath Yatra
Amarnath Yatra is the annual pilgrimage that takes place during the holy month of Sharvana in the north Kashmir region. The yatra, which is held in great reverence by Hindus across the world, lasts for more than one and half month. During this time, the pilgrims travel to the Holy cave of Amarnath Ji, which is considered to be the sacred abode of Lord Shiva. This yatra is quite difficult to undertake, especially for the elderly and sick people, owing to the rough mountainous terrain and extreme weather conditions. The yatra ends on the full moon day in the month of Shravna.
In 2013, the Amarnath Yatra began on 28th June and will end on 20th August.
About Amarnath Ji Shrine
Shri Amarnathji shrine is amongst the most sacred Hindu Shrines of India. The shrine features a huge Shiva Lingam which is formed annually by the tiny droplets of melting snow dripping from the roof of the cave onto its floor. In addition the cave also features two smaller ice formations which the Hindus believe to be the forms of Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha.
This ancient cave temple is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva revealed the secrets of immortality and the creation of Universe to Mata Parvati. It is said that despite all the efforts Lord Shiva to prevent any other living being from hearing the secret, a pair of does that was mating within the recesses of the cave overheard the narrative and became immortal. Even today, many pilgrims claim to have seen a couple of doves at the cave while performing the darshan.
Important Things To Know About The Yatra
There are two routes from which the yatra can be conducted. The first route is via Pahalgam, from which the yatris can complete the yatra in 5 days. The other is route is via Baltal, which despite being shorter is less preferred owing to its extremely difficult terrain.The commencement of the Yatra is marked by the conducting a special prayer at the famous Shankracharya temple in Srinagar, which is popularly known as Pratham Pujan. During the ritual a special staff known as Chadi Mubrak is worship and it is then carried all theway to the holy cave shrine. Uptil, 1989, a grand procession was carried out through the main markets of Srinagar city, before the Chadi Mubarak was taken for worship to the Shankracharya temple from where it was directly taken to Amarnath Ji via Pahalgam.
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