Amarnath

Shri Amarnath Yatra – travel to the holy cave

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He was a teenager boy, who lost his father recently. He with his elder brother helped their mother to run the family consisting of other brothers and sisters. In the absence of industrial activity or any regular job, people like them depend heavily on tourism, particularly Amarnath yatra. Starting from Sonmarg, the entire area used to go under heavy snowfall from November upto end of March. So they are left with no option but to make their livelihood during balance months of the year.

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Kashmir – The crown of India

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Sindhu was flowing just behind the hotel. So the sound of the full flowing river was continuously available. We saw the setting sun in its full glory. Entire surrounding was magnificent with absolute calmness, except chirping of birds and roar of the

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Amarnath Yatra :: Panchtarni to Holy Cave

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The test of faith on Lord Shiva continued all the way to Shrine. To reach there, it’s another kilometre through slippery snowy path by the side of river Amaravati, and when we reached below the cave, we saw long stairs to climb and a longer queue to follow. The cave is located at an elevation of 13,500 feet above the sea level and its opening is a large semi-circular hollow into a cliff.
It was about 60-70 stairs before the cave we saw the base hospital and a young man of 33-34 years. He could not make it to the cave and took his last breath there. I looked up inside the cave and the belief became firm again. To reach at Shiva’s feet, one must have his blessings; one must have got his calling.

I entered inside the cave with my two friends. The floor of the cave was extremely cold and wet. In deepest right corner of the cave, I saw Lord Shiva, in his unique shape of ice-lingam about 11-12 feet tall. I bent at his feet (the ice base) and offered Billa leaves. I stood quiet there for some time with folded hand but I forgot to seek anything from ‘Mahadeva’ and came out happily from the cave with a sense of fulfillment.

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पवित्र गुफा से बालटाल वापसी (Part 5)

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अमर नाथ यात्रा पर जाने के दो रास्ते हैं। एक पहलगाम होकर और दूसरा सोनमर्ग बालटाल से। । पहलगाम से जाने वाले रास्ते को सरल और सुविधाजनक समझा जाता है लेकिन रास्ता लम्बा है और कुल दुरी 32 किलोमीटर है । बालटाल वाले रास्ते से अमरनाथ गुफा की दूरी केवल 14 किलोमीटर है लेकिन यह बहुत ही दुर्गम रास्ता है और सुरक्षा की दृष्टि से भी संदिग्ध है।

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Amarnath Yatra :: Ganesh Top to Panchtarni

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We saw pilgrims tired and exhausted, moving slowly resting after every step or two and painfully looking at the steep ascent of Ganesh Top, thinking might be about the steps left, some were searching the shortest route and other going slow but steady. The pain was much less for us except sore back due to long horse riding. Suddenly, we saw a U shape mountain just before the Ganesh Top, standing tall and high, looking at the pilgrims as if it was a gate to heaven. Slowly we climbed up to the highest point of Amarnath Yatra route, the Mahagunus Top or the Ganesh Top at an altitude of 14500 ft above the sea level. The Army had a post there too and was at the services of pilgrims.

It is believed that Lord Shiva asked his son Ganesha to stay at this mountain peak and moved further with Goddess Parvati to the cave. Lord Ganesha might saw them off from here. He might have seen them descending to the valley of Panchtarni.

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Amarnath Yatra :: Sheshnag & Wahbal (Babbal) Top

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For the first time at Sheshnag we felt shortage of oxygen, we were breathing short while climbing the nearby areas, that’s due to rapid climbing of altitude, more than 2000 feet in less than 5 hours, that’s for sure was against the general norms of mountaineering which suggest climbing of not more than 1500 feet a day. We knew that, and therefore were on AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) preventive drugs “Diamox 250mg” (not to be taken without consultations of physician) from the previous day. We took the second dosage immediately here, because higher the altitude, greater the risk and ahead of us was the Wahbal Top and then Ganesh Top at an altitude of 13500ft and 14500ft respectively. Not to get dehydrate we took plenty of water and ORS. I am writing this not to make anyone scare, but to let all know that there is a little scope for heroic action in climbing high altitudes.

True that, every single life is precious and it is the responsibility of the Government as well as the authorities organising the pilgrimage to care for that, but we must also know how precious the life is to ourselves and to our families who pray every day back at home for our safe return. So it is essential that one have the knowledge of AMS, first aid medicines and their uses before undertaking the pilgrimage or otherwise they should go slow, get acclimatized, not over stress the body and report immediately to the nearest medical camps on the route in case of physical discomforts.

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पवित्र गुफा और हिमलिंग दर्शन (Part 4)

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गुफा से बाहर निकलते ही मोह माया फिर से आपको जकड़ लेती है। मैं भी जैसे ही गुफा से बाहर आया तो मुझे भी अपने साथियों की याद आई. जाने वो कहाँ रह गए? यह सोचता हुआ और भोले नाथ से अगले वर्ष फिर बुलाने की प्रार्थना करता हुआ सीडियां उतरने लगा। जूताघर से से अपने जूते लिए । उस समय ठीक 2:30 बज रहे थे यानि की मैं किसी भी हिसाब से लेट नहीं था। नीचे उतर कर एक लंगर से बेसन का एक पुड़ा मीठी चटनी के साथ खाया और दूसरे से एक कटोरी खीर। तीसरे लंगर से गरम चाय पी और फिर से तरोताजा हो वापसी शुरू कर दी।

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Amarnath Yatra :: Pishutop, Zajipal & Nagakoti

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These Bhandars provide tea, snacks, breakfast and hot vegetarian foods to the pilgrims, free. They camp all major places on the way to the Holy Cave to serve hot foods to the pilgrims. A holly attempt, I must say, may be the path, to their belief, to receive grace and blessings of Lord Shiva. The holy songs of Lord Shiva in the tunes of most modern bollywood songs were playing in these Bhandaras and were lifting up the spirits of pilgrims.

Pilgrims, who climbed up on foot the first steep mountain ‘Pishu Top’, were standing exhausted there. But they had an aura of achievement too, the aura of victory over the first hurdle, ‘Pishu Top’ and for some of them it was no less than the climbing and conquering of Mount Everest. They were proud pilgrims, posing for snaps before and on the stone painted with welcoming message “Swagatam Pishutop”. They deserved that too, but for us who came here on horseback, it was not a party time yet!

We set off again and it was now an easy road along the East Liddar River. Soon we left behind the beautiful Pishutop, I looked back, may be for a last sight in my life. I was enjoying every bit of this route and realized beginning of the most beautiful journey of my life.

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बालटाल से पवित्र अमरनाथ गुफ़ा : श्रध्दा व श्रम का अनोखा संयोग (भाग 3)

बालटाल से पवित्र अमरनाथ गुफ़ा : श्रध्दा व श्रम का अनोखा संयोग (भाग 3)

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हम लोग सामान्य गति से चल रहे थे लेकिन धीरे -धीरे राजू और उसके परिवार की गति कम होने लगी. शुशील उनके साथ ही चल रहा था और मैं उनसे काफी आगे निकल आया था. दोमेल से 1.5 किलोमीटर आगे रेल पथरी नामक जगह पर दो भंडारे हैं। मैं वहांरुक कर उनकी प्रतीक्षा करने लगा और बीस मिनट बाद बाद वो भी पहुँच गए। चढ़ाई चढ़ते हुए लम्बा विश्राम करने से शरीर शिथिल हो जाता है और मुझे इससे परेशानी होती है। यहाँ भी ऐसा ही हुआ और मुझे लगा की अगर ऐसा ही चलता रहा तो शायद शाम तक ही गुफा पर पहुँच पाउँगा। मैंने उनसे कहा मैं आगे जा रहा हूँ तुम थोड़ा आराम करने के बाद चल देना। अब मैं तुम्हे बरारी टॉप पर ही मिलूंगा और तुम्हारा 11 बजे तक इंतजार करूँगा। अगर आप इससे लेट पहुंचे तो समझ लेना कि मैं आगे चला गया हूँ। ऐसा कहकर मैंने दोबारा चढ़ाई शुरू कर दी।

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Amarnath Yatra :: A Journey of Faith :: Pahalgam to Pishutop

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We were climbing the steep ascent through the muddy, rocky and narrow route. Those on foot were making their path upwards according to their own convenience. Every step on such steep ascent of initial trek is the first test of one’s mind and faith. To strengthen devotees’ faith the Military Personnel are there and their presences are felt throughout the route.

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Amarnath Yatra – Jammu to Baltal base Camp

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जम्मू से आगे पुरे रास्ते में जगह-जगह अमरनाथ यात्रियों के लिए लंगर लगे हुए हैं। खाने-पीने की कोई समस्या नहीं। क्योंकि हम लोग नाश्ता करके नहीं आये थे और अब तक हमें काफी भूख लग गयी थी। हमने गाड़ी वाले से कहा की किसी लंगर पर गाड़ी रोक दो, नाश्ता करना है। ड्राइवर ने बटोट से थोड़ा आगे एक लंगर पर गाड़ी रोक दी। लंगर राजपुरा के पास का था। लंगर में डोसा, पानी पूरी, आइस क्रीम, कुल्फी, कोल्ड ड्रिंक, जलजीरा, दाल चावल, रोटी सब्ज़ी, पॉपकॉर्न, हलवा, खीर और गरमा गरम चाय सब कुछ मिल रहा था। जितना चाहे प्यार से खाओ पर झूठा बचाना सख्त मना है। खाओ मन भर, न छोडो कण भर। वहां ड्राइवर सहित सभी लोगों ने नाश्ता किया, गर्मागर्म चाय पी और पौने घंटे बाद ठीक 12 बजे दोबारा से यात्रा शुरू कर दी।

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