Pahalgam to Sheshnag – Part 5 of Amarnath Yatra

We got up early in the morning and completed all morning rituals. There were sufficient number of toilets and bathrooms at one side of the camp for use of the Yatris. Some of us took bath in chilled water and others avoided it .Within one hour all of us became ready to proceed. We came out of our tent with our rucksacks on our back and went towards Bhandaras to have some breakfast. Atmosphere was chilled and cold air was flowing. There was great rush at each Bhandaras and they were packed with pilgrims all around. After taking breakfast we moved towards the exit gate and found that hundreds of Yatris were already standing there in lines and waiting for their turn to go out. Exit gate was closed and when it opened, security personnel allowed Yatris to out one by one. Within 15-20 minutes we also came out of the camp and started looking for Chandanwadi bound vehicles. Vehicles were limited and Peoples were pushing each other to enter into the vehicles. Soon we caught one 8 sitter Maruti van and jumped into it. He asked Rs.800 from us whereas the charges were fixed as Rs. 70 per person by Govt. we agreed to his demand and asked him to start his van and we started from Pahalgam towards Chandanwadi. Scenery between Pahalgam and Chandanwadi is mind blowing. Lidder River was flowing along the right side of the road. Chandanwadi is around 16 kms from Pahalgam and it took us around 30 minutes to reach there. There is no motor able road beyond Chandanwadi.

We left the van and started moving towards the track. We bought wooden stick for us @ Rs.15 per stick. There were two check posts at Chandanwadi where all the Yatris and their belongings were checked thoroughly. After checking we proceed further and passed through the many Bhandaras /Langars available at Chandanwadi. We took tea and little snacks at Barfani Sewa Mandal Bhandara. We are associated with this Bhandara since 1998. After this we moved towards Pissutop which is one of the deadliest climb in Amarnath Yatra.

Pissutop is situated at an elevation of 2500 feet from Chandanwadi and from here there is steep, dangerous about 3 km, zig zag climb on rocky and rough surface. This is the terrific start from here. From our group, Shushil, Swarn and me had already come to this track more than once but for rest of members, it was a new experience. From the bottom, top of Pissutop is not visible. The top which is visible from down is the half way point and most of the Yatris think it as the Pissutop. Pissutop becomes visible only after reaching at the midpoint.

“Amarnath Legend: – It is the place where Lord Shiva left all his poisonous creatures like “Pissus” or scorpions from his body. It is also said that to reach first for the Darshan of Sh. Bholenath there was once a big battle fought between the Devtas and the Rakshas at this place and with the blessings of Lord Shiva, the Devtas killed the Rakshasas in such large number that the heap of their dead bodies has resulted in this massive hill.”

We started slowly around 10 AM and asked our new members not to look at the top, just look at you feet, keep climbing and chanting Jai Bhole ki. The climb on this track is so dangerous and difficult that it test the full stamina of Yatris. If one succeeds here, it is sure that he will get success in the rest of Journey also.

From us, Shekhar was youngest and fittest. He was walking ahead of us. Soon Naresh Saroha and Swarn hired the pony for Pissutop as they were facing difficulties to climb this mighty mountain.

It took me 1.5 hrs to reach Pissutop and saw Shekhar already sitting there and waiting for us. Within 40 more minutes all group members reached there and we took a well deserving break. We knew that most difficult Journey of the day and of the Yatra had been successfully completed.

Climb of Pissu Top

Climb of Pissu Top

Climb of Pissu Top

Climb of Pissu Top

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Shekhar enjoying at Pissu Top

Shekhar enjoying at Pissu Top

One Bhandara at Pissu Top

One Bhandara at Pissu Top

PISSUTOP TO ZOJIBAL
There were 3-4 Bhandaras available at Pissutop from where we took some snacks and proceed further to Zojibal around 12:30 PM. Zojibal is 5 kms away from Pissutop .It is straight rocky walk from Pissutop. As there was no climb till Zojibal so there was no sweat here. The climate was wonderful and very pleasant. The sky was covered with clouds with signs of rain and a cool breeze was blowing and we started feeling cold and wear the woolen again which were taken off during the Pissutop climb. We were moving fast to reach Zojibal as there was no shelter between Pissutop and Zojibal. But before we reached there, it started raining. We took out our rain coats and wear them to protect ourselves but soon the rain stops. We take off rain coat as it became difficult to walk with rain coats.

Naresh Saroha was suffering from high altitude mountain sickness. We asked him to hire a pony but he refused. Swarn was also feeling some pain but he too refused for the pony. They were walking slowly. I, Shekhar and Shushil were walking together, ahead of them and promised them to meet at Zojibal.

We reached Zojibal at 2:15 PM and took some rest. We were waiting for other members. After some time they reached. Condition of Naresh Saroha had worsened .He was suffering from severe headache, no appetite and very uncomfortable. Swarn was better than him but not good. We hired two ponies for them till Sheshnag and asked Swarn to book tent after reaching there as he had visited this place earlier.

River flowing in the valley

River flowing in the valley

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Shushil Malhotra

Shushil Malhotra

Me

Me

beautiful landscapes

beautiful landscapes

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ZOJIBAL to NAGAKOTI :
Distance between Zojibal and Nagakoti is around 2KM and have moderate climb. Altitude increases by 300 feet in these 2 Kms. There are some beautiful mountains streams between these points. We covered this short distance in more than one hour courtesy some photo session. Some part of this 2KM distance is very narrow and Yatris are not allowed to travel on ponies. They have to walk through this narrow path.

It is here in Nagakoti where Lord Shiva started to leave poisonous snakes from his body.

One mountain stream

One mountain stream

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Sanjeev Sharma Ji

Sanjeev Sharma Ji

Sharmaji,Shushil And me

Sharmaji,Shushil And me

Shekhar

Shekhar

Track, stream,valley

Track, stream,valley

Myself posing

Myself posing

NAGARKOTI TO SHESHNAG
After Nagakoti our next destination of the Yatra and last for today was the Sheshnag Lake. Sheshnag Lake is the origin of beautiful East Lidder River. From Nagkoti, Sheshnag yatra camp is at 2 kms away and just after 1KM you can enjoy the breathtaking views of this charming lake. After the first glimpse of the lake, you will forget all tiredness of the journey. The first scene of the lake is small light blue colored water appearing between two small hills and a small stream flowing through the gap between those two hills. Yes the river is East Lidder which we were following from Anantnag.

“Lord Shiva finally leaves Sheshnag the one around his neck here at this lake. Hence the lake is named after that. It is believed that Sheshnag is living in this lake and some pilgrims’ believed to have darshan of Sheshnag in this lake. The 7 mountains around the lakes are called 7 hoods of the Sheshnag serpent.

Most pilgrims traveling on foot stay here. Lot of arrangements are there in Sheshnag like base camps, tents, medicinal facilities , Toilets, bathrooms, doctors, medicines, army camp for safety, shops selling all Yatra items, oxygen cylinders, Bhandaras and Langars etc. People enjoy all these facilities in Sheshnag Camp.

We took many pictures of the picturesque Sheshnag Lake and went towards camp. Swarn and Saroha had already reached there and had booked one tent for us. Soon rest of the members reached there and we took rest. All of us were very tired and did not take dinner and slept in the tents.

Sheshnag Lake

Sheshnag Lake

Sheshnag Lake

Sheshnag Lake

Sheshnag Lake

Sheshnag Lake

At Sheshnag Lake

At Sheshnag Lake

Sheshnag Lake

Sheshnag Lake

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Me and Shekhar

Me and Shekhar

Sheshnag Camps

Sheshnag Camps

That finishes our third day of the Yatra. In the next part we will proceed towards Mahagunus top and Panjtarni. Till then Jai Bhole ki…

Important Milestones of today’s Amarnath Yatra
1) Pahalgam :- ( 7200 feet)
2) Chandanwadi :- ( 9500 feet) 16 kms from Pahalgam via road
3) Pissutop :- ( 11000 feet) 3 kms steep rocky climbing from Chandanwadi.
4) Zojibal :- ( 11000 feet) 5 kms Straight rocky walk from Pissutop.
5) Nagakoti :- ( 11300 feet) 2 kms from Zojibal
6) Sheshnaag :- ( 11730 feet) 2 kms from Nagakoti

14 Comments

  • Umesh Joshi says:

    Good picture , jay bhole

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Jai Bhole Ki Naresh Jee. You make the tough trek easier by your honest and simple narration. I think your style of writing (simple, useful etc) also talks a lot of yourself. Hope Mr. Saroha felt better after a good night’s sleep. AMS can be very painful and ruins the mood.

  • Nandan Ji..
    Jai bhole ki..
    Leaving for this year Amarnath Yatra probably in next week.

  • Sowjanya says:

    Hi Nareshji,

    This is quiet a good write up of the yatra and definitely informative. Many thanks !! We are planning to do the yatra this year (2015) via Pahalgam and return via Baltal route, and my mother (aged 55) is also accompanying us. She wants to try the trek on the first day and then decide on taking a dandi, as she fears taking a pony. Are the dandi facilities available enroute or is it mandatory to book them at Chandanwari itself and also if you could mention the approx. charges for the same, it would be of great help.

    Thanks,
    Sowjanya

  • Naresh Sehgal says:

    Sowjanya Jee,
    Hi.
    On first day, first 3-4 KM are quite steep specially ascend at Pissu Top. If she is quite fit, then she can do it or otherwise it is good to hire Dandi at Chandanwari. Dandis are available en-route but not at a specified location. I am not sure on charges as I never hired them but it will be approx 10000. It is better to bargain with them.
    Thanks

  • Deepak says:

    Hi Naresh,

    We, group of 5 friends are going for yatra from 19 July-15 and got the permit fr same. We have booked train from Delhi to Jammu tavi. We will reached Jammu tavi station by 3:30am on 18th July. Can you please guide us, where we get taxi from for Pahalgam or should we booked it in advance and also is there any formality required at Jammu for further journey.

  • Naresh Sehgal says:

    For getting a bus or shared taxi for Pahalgam you will have to reach Bhagwati Nagar, Jammu.

    To reach Bhagwati Nagar (Base camp for Amarnath Yatra) you can find many Auto/ Vans from railway station. Fare is about Rs.20-30 per person for shared auto. In case you dont get the direct conveyance from railway station , there is second option; go to bus stand and from Jewel Chowk (outside of Bus stand) you can find multiple options for Bhagwati Nagar (Yatri Niwas). Bus stand lies in between Jammu railway station and Yatri Niwas. It takes 20-30 minutes to reach Bhagwati Nagar from railway station.
    But as you are reaching around 3:30AM I will suggest to hire solo auto rickshaw to save time. It will take around Rs. 100.
    Shared taxies and mini buses for Pahalgam are available in morning till around 9AM depending on the passengers available.No need of advance booking. Just reach there and you can hire shared or solo taxi as you desire for Pahalgam.

  • Ritwika Dey says:

    Sir please tidy up one thing, I got my yatra permission on 26th July 2015. Can I able to start my yatra after 2-3 days from 26th? Actually I have got some sudden works so I have to postpone my yatra for 2-3 days. Is it possible or I have to do all the procedure of getting yatra permission once again? Please help me with your valuable reply

  • Naresh Sehgal says:

    Dear Ritwika,
    It all depend on the security personnel checking the registration cards. Usually one day late is allowed. 2-3 day late may be allowed if you convinced him with proper justification.
    I personally think you need not to do all the procedure of getting yatra permission once again. Make the journey late by two day maximum. things will be in right direction.
    Jai Bhole ki..

  • deepak bhardwaj says:

    Dear Ritwika Ji,
    I think you should apply afresha application in the same bank brach frim where you got your permit. No need to submit new medical certificate. Just submit photocopy of medical certificate or submit old permit no. I also got changed my permit from 12th july to 19th july.
    Jai Bhole Baba

  • RITWIKA DEY says:

    Deepak Ji I already try this. But there is no vacancy available for next 3 days in this particular bank. What to do?

    • deepak bhardwaj says:

      Try in another branch of same bank with your old permit details. You can also write to shri amarnath shrine board at email id on thier website.

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