Pic: Draskd on Flickr
As we all know, the Amarnath shrine located atop the South Kashmir Himalayas is one of the most sacred and devotional places in India. Accompanied with its holiness is an exhilarating experience with abundance of scenic landscapes and blissful memories. Well, what’s better than a thrilling experience along with the blessings of our almighty.
So if you are looking for a fulfilling experience that would enrich your body and soul, a visit to the divine temple should surely be a part of your bucket list.
Below is all the information that you would require to plan your itinerary for this one of a kind journey!
Things that you should know:-
Commencement and duration of the journey:-
The Yatra is permissible only during the months of Shravana that is the time period between the months of July and August when the holy Shiva Linga also is also in its intact form. The months of May to September are considered the best to visit the region due to considerably moderate climate.
The trek of around 45 kms to the pilgrimage usually takes around 3-5 days (one way) while the time span is usually lesser if the pilgrim travels by Helicopter, bus or train.
Health condition advisory:-
The Amarnath caves are situated at an eminent height of over 13500 feet which is subjected to extremely cold and dry climatic conditions. The pilgrims are usually exposed to acute ultraviolet radiations and reduced air pressure.
Breathing problems, dizziness, nausea and vomiting and headaches are common during the journey.
Some of the aspects that you are required to take care of are mentioned as follows:-
- Disclose any pre-existing medical condition to your fellow trekkers as well as the adequate authorities. Also, consult your physician before commencing the journey.
- Eat Carbohydrate rich diet during the trip.
- Descent to a lower altitude and consult a doctor in case you feel the symptoms of High Altitude sickness.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol or consuming caffeine rich drinks.
- The altitude at which you sleep should not be higher than 300 metres of the altitude where you slept the previous day.
How to register for the Yatra?
Registration in advance is compulsory for all those who intend to go for the Yatra. In order to register for the Amarnath pilgrimage, one has to follow a procedure that is explained as follows:
- In order to apply for the consent, a yatri is required to submit the following document:-
- Application form in prescribed format.
- 4 passport size photos
- A Compulsory Health Certificate (CHC)
- The registrar shall give the permit on the basis of the following:-
- Whether the prescribed application form is adequately filled and signed by the concerned persons.
- Whether CHC has been acknowledged by an authorized institution.
- Whether CHC has been issued on a recent date.
- The registration officer shall issue the permit for both, the Pahalgam and the Baltal route along with the day when the Yatri would be allowed to cross the Access control gates.
- One has to pay Rs. 50 as fee per Yatra permit.
What to carry?
Setting up your bag is one of the most crucial aspects in order to have a smooth trip and experience the most out of a place.
Hence, we have mentioned some inputs that you must carry with you as you go for the trek.
- Some eatables with long shelf life (for ex. Biscuits, peanut butter, dry fruits etc.)
- Warm and handy clothes
- Insect repellents
- A medical kit with medications for health issues like common pain, headaches, sprain sprays etc.
- A pair of trekking shoes
- Warm water
- Mobile phones along with power banks
How to reach the Yatra camp?
One can reach the Yatra camp using a number of transporting options in accordance with their convenience and budget. The Yatra camp is easily accessible from across the country with the 3 convenient means of transport that are bus, trains and helicopters.
BUS- In order to reach Amarnath by bus, one has to initially reach Jammu. From there, you can travel to Srinagar and then to Baltal or Pahalgam that are the 2 major routes to the destination. One can also use the available redbus offers and save up to 15% on your bus ticket bookings
Though Baltal is considered to be the shortest route to the shrine longing around 1-2 days, Pehalgam trek is considered to be an easier one lasting for 3-4 days. If you are an adventure seeker, we would recommend you the Baltal trek full of enormous ice-cold mountains. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the trek with your family, go for the Pahalgam trek!
TRAIN- The shrine is also accessible by train. The nearest railway station is Jammu with sound connectivity from across India by trains like Jammu Rajdhani, Uttar S Kranti, Dee Jat Duronto and Jammu Garib Rath. From Jammu, you can book a cab or bus to Pahalgam or Baltal. Then you have to trek your way up to the shrine and you also have the option to hire ponies or palkies.
HELICOPTER-The demand for helicopter tickets is huge while the mode just serves a handful of people. Hence, one needs to book his tickets well in advance to avail the comfort of helicopter. The allowance of commuters per day is around 500-2000. The nearest helipad to the Amaranth cave is Panchtarni which is followed by a trek of 4 kms to the shrine. The helicopter service is available till 5 pm and is subjective to the prevailing weather condition.
Journey to Amarnath- A picturesque blessing
The journey is a peculiar yet a full-fledged experience. The yatra trek is characterized with an enlightening expedition, the mesmerising landscapes, the magnificent shrine and a bag full of distinct yet beautiful memories. The shrine board stands out with its extensive range of services such as the well-maintained path, a range of voluntary free food offered on the way, the hygienic sleeping tents and much more.
As it is rightly said that “to travel is to take a journey into yourself”, the journey to Amarnath would certainly be a worthy one!