Amarnath or Amarnath Temple is one of the holiest Hindu religious shrines in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Amarnath cave is residing at an altitude of 3,888 metres above sea level and a distance of nearly 141 kilometres from the state capital Srinagar. Every Year thousands of pilgrims join the Amarnath Yatra which is taken care of under the Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board. There are several exciting places to visit in Amarnath as well.
Amarnath Temple is one of the most important pilgrimage centres in India and this popular shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This shrine is popular due to its enshrined Shiva Linga naturally formed with ice, which accurately resembles Lord Shive in its Linga formed.
Shiva’s Linga form is one of the most worshipped forms in India with Lord Shiva’s other forms such as Ardhnareshwar, Nataraja, Rudra Shiva etc. This challenging and adventurous trek called Amarnath Yatra is so popular among locals and famous among foreign travellers as well.
This Yatra has been the centre of attraction among many devotees’ youth and senior citizens regardless of their age. Every year millions of tourists visit this place to experience this epic trekking from all across the world. However, this shrine is naturally preserved in the cave which is only accessible only during the Shravana months of July-August.
This temple can be reached via two trekking routes which are Baltal and Pahalgam. The Baltal route is shorter but this is steeper trekking and not mostly preferred among travellers The Pahalgam route is longer but generally preferred by most of the tourists and devotees and generally, it takes 4-5 days to reach the temple.
Apart from it, helicopter services are also available by several private operators on both these routes but to avail of the service, you need to make your booking in advance to avoid the hustle. It is one of the best spiritual and natural places to visit in Amarnath. This place will surely admire by nature enthusiasts and the trekking experience of this temple would be loved by adventure lovers.
Baltal is set up at an altitude of 2743 metres above sea level and Baltal suffices as a halt destination just about perfect for all the religious Amarnath Cave pilgrims. At a distance of 14 kilometres from Amarnath, this place serves as the base camp for devotees with adequate arrangements of pitch tents to spend the night.
Apart from the base camp, this picturesque location gives you a lovely and panoramic view of hills, snow-capped mountains and the entire valley with the addition of a pleasant and superb environment. It is in close proximity to renowned towns like Srinagar, Pahalgam and Sonamarg.
Pahalgam is residing on the banks of the Liddar River in the Anantnag district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir Valley. Pahalgam is a beautiful hill station and it is a highly popular tourist spot in the Jammu region. Pahalgam is famous for its offering of fun and adventure activities such as hiking, trekking and fishing.
Pahalgam valley was also named Betaab Valley after the shooting of the famous Bollywood movie Betaab starring Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh. Another popular tourist spot Sheshanaag Lake is situated near Pahalgam is another bliss together. Pahalgam serves as another base for the trekking route towards the Amarnath pilgrimage centre.
Chandan Wari which is located at a distance of 16.6 kilometres away from Pahalgam is the actual base camp of the Amarnath. Another exciting trek is Kolhoi Glaciers Trek via a beautiful village named Aru and it is one of the most popular trekking places to visit in the Amarnath region.
Sledging options are also available to travellers which are provided by local people which gives you a chance to fun experience of sledging on the frozen glaciers. And as mentioned before the long stretches of rivers in Pahalgam are the perfect region to enjoy fishing.
The Summer Season in Amarnath stays from March to June and Amarnath’s temperature fluctuates between 9 degrees Celsius to 34 degrees Celsius. Amarnath’s weather is neither too hot nor too cold in this season. The Amarnath cave is always been a major attraction, always covered in snow throughout the year except in summer when it is open to the pilgrims.
Every year many devotees do visit Amarnath trekking via the steep terrain to seek a darshan of ice made Shiv Lingam which stood vertically. This season seems perfect to visit Amarnath if you wish to see the cave. There are some other religious places to visit in Amarnath. This season you may find this place crowded hence; it is suggested to make your booking in advance.
The Monsoon Season in Amarnath is marked from July to September and Amarnath’s temperature stays between -1 degrees Celsius to 7 degrees Celsius. This season Amarnath’s weather remains quite cold and crisp. However, this is the season to see this entire area filled with plenty of devotees throughout the country.
This season is highly preferred because of its famous Amarnath Yatra coinciding with the holy month of Shravana and it receives pilgrims from every corner of the country. But in this season trekking becomes difficult as the mountains surrounding the cave are covered in the snow completely. Also, in late August you may find blizzards which every year become a cause of severe human life danger. This is the season when you need to be careful. There are some beautiful places to visit in Amarnath this season.
The Winter Season in Amarnath stays from October to February and Amarnath's temperature ranges from -8 degrees Celsius to 0 degrees Celsius. This season brings heavy snowfall and blizzards which covers the entire cave and all the surrounding mountains are covered in snow and fog.
It is always a severe danger to visit Amarnath in this season and this season is not suggested to travellers to visit Amarnath due to the extreme winter and trekking seems discomfort and Amarnath cave is also closed to the pilgrims hence; it is not ideal to visit Amarnath in this season.
- The Srinagar Airport is the nearest airbase to Pahalgam at a distance of approximately 70 kilometres and is widely connected to other major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Shimla, Jaipur and Jodhpur.
Plenty of airline carriers such as Air India, IndiGo, Spice Jet, Jet Airways and Go Air do operate several regular flights on regular basis to Srinagar Airport. Once you reach the airport you can take state buses or hire a cab to reach Pahalgam from where you can start your journey to Amarnath. Helicopter services are also available to reach Pahalgam.
- There is no direct train service to Amarnath and the nearest railhead lies in Jammu namely Jammu Railway Station at a distance of 178 kilometres far. Jammu Railway Station is nicely connected to other neighbouring cities like New Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Pathankot, Shimla, Jodhpur, Amritsar and Dehradun.
Train options such as Jammu Rajdhani, Uttar Sampark Kranti, Sarvodaya Express, JAM SVDK Express, Shri Shakti Express, DEE JAT Duronto and DEE UHP AC SUP are some decent train options that run the train to Jammu Railway Station on regular basis. From outside the railway station, travellers can take the bus or hire a cab to Baltal or Pahalgam to start their journey to Amarnath.
Baltal resides nearly 15 kilometres away and it takes 1-2 days trekking to reach Amarnath and Pahalgam lies at a distance of 40-48 kilometres which is usually covered in 5-6 days of trekking.
- Amarnath is on very treacherous terrain hence; not directly connected via road networks. If you wish to Amarnath via road then you have to reach Srinagar which can be reached via state and private buses and from there, your next stopping point would be the Baltal or Pahalgam.
Trekking from Baltal is for 1-2 days but it is a difficult track to cover. Pahalgam trek takes 5-6 days and it is a safer, comfortable and suitable option for families and elder people. Travellers can also opt for ponies and palkis service which is available to comfortably cover your journey. There are some great places to visit in Amarnath to make your trip memorable.
There are some fine 3-star hotels near Amarnath which do provide some great deals and premium services. Hotel Paradise Retreat Daksum is located at Dandipora Daksum and it offers you the services of a Restaurant, Dining Area, Barbeque, Café, Kids Play Area, Gym, ATM, Free Shuttle Services, Paid Airport Transfers, Rental Vehicles, Multilingual Staff, Smoke Detector, Bonfire, Balcony/Terrace and Bellboy Service along with some other basic amenities.
Hotel Bliss is residing at Spring Mall, Anantnag and it provides you with the facilities like Café, Restaurant, Barbeque, Dining Area, Lawn, Medical Centre, Doctor on Call, Wake up Call, Free Wi-Fi, Free Parking, Multilingual Staff and some other facilities. Hotel Baisaran Pahalgam is situated at Chandwari Road, at a distance of 2.8 kilometres from Aru Valley and it gives you the amenities such as Restaurant, Dining Area, Barbeque, Kids’ Meals, Currency Exchange, Photo Session, Entertainment, Golf, Tours and Treks, Bonfire, Prayer Room, Massage, Concierge Service, Bellboy Service and Multilingual Staff.
Sheen Woods Riverside Resort and Spa are offering you the facilities such as Restaurant, Free Wi-Fi, Free Parking, ATM, Lawn, Balcony/Terrace, Fireplace, Medical Centre, Wake up Call, Doctor on Call and 24-hour Helpdesk. All of these mentioned accommodation options are providing installed sanitisers, masks and gloves due to safety reasons.