Amarnath

Disappointing ‘Wular’ – The largest fresh water lake in Asia

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Each year during Amarnath Yatra we try to cover one new place of Kashmir excluding Srinagar. By this method we have covered Aru Valley, Betab Valley, Lidder valley, Pahalgam, Anant Nag, Avantipura, Verinag spring ( the chief source of the river Jhelum) Sonamarg, Gulmarg,  Mansabal lake etc. During 2009 Amarnath Yatra, we had planned to visit Wular Lake. After Darshan we started returned journey from Baltal towards Srinagar early in the morning.

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My 12th Amarnath Yatra – Trip Report and Pictures , Part 2

My 12th Amarnath Yatra – Trip Report and Pictures , Part 2

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We get up at 5.30 AM. It was very cold outside. Around 6 AM we came out of tent to proceed further to Holy Cave. We took a bucket of hot water for Rs.50 from Tentwala and wash our face and hands etc. We did not take bath as we were so tired and weather was very cold. We took a cup of tea and stood in the line for Darshan. After Aarti, Darshan started at 7:30AM. Around 8.15 AM we reached in holy cave .All the atmosphere was filled with the Jaikare of Bam Bam Bhole. We forget all our tiredness and body pain after Darshan. We were feeling so energetic. I got very emotional after Darshan. A full size ice lingam was in front of my eyes. As I already mention that this was my 12th Yatra to Holy cave but this year ice lingam size was the biggest I have ever seen. We spent around 40 minutes in the Holy cave and offered some rituals. We came down from the cave. As we had not taken lunch and dinner yesterday, we were very hungry. We took one prantha each and tea from the Bhandara and started journey towards Baltal. It was around 9.30 AM. There were frequent traffic jam on the ways due to heavy rush. At 3:45 PM we reached at Domel and went to Barfani sewa mandal Bhandara. We took lunch there and rested for night at there.

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My 12th Amarnath Yatra – Trip Report and Pictures , Part 1

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Our bus was stopped by one police party at Srinagar and asks to go back as there was some stone pelting incidence on the road. Later we came to know that some fire was broken out at some old Sufi Dargah due to which local persons were creating disturbances in the area. All buses returned 15 Km and took the Gulmarg Bypass road. All this exercise wasted one hour. I was sure that we will not reach Baltal in the evening because we were too late to cross Manigam Camp .Generally all the Yatra vehicles moving towards Baltal are stopped at Manigam Yatra camp after 5 PM. Manigam lies in Ganderbal district and 35 Km away from Srinagar. As feared our buses were stopped at Manigam camp. A lot of vehicles were already parked there. Our bus driver told us that the buses will leave for Baltal next morning at 6.30 AM. There were lots of tents available for night rest. 3-4 Bhandaras were also there for food and snacks. We took our bags and book one tent @100 per head. Then after taking dinner at Bandara we came to our tent for sleep.

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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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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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