A Walk in the High Himalayas

Posted on July 18, 2013

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Like 1.21 billions other people living in this part of world I too feel proud the moment a name “I_N_D_I_A” comes out of my mouth.  It does not mean a country to us; We consider it as our mother. I know I am unnecessarily showing my patriotism here; but I need to feel my love for my country before I will expect you to show the same love for my motherland, my India.

Since We were in school, no one has ever asked us a question, “What is the name of your country?” Every time we have to answer “India” the question remains, “What is the name of our motherland?”

A land that feeds billions of people, creates opportunities for millions outsider and outsources thousands of people is  the real India which I know.
I am sure most of you have seen India painted with colors like poverty, corruption etc. Today I will try to show the other side of India that gives us many reasons to look for our Pride, our happiness and our peace.

This post is dedicated to “Amarnath Trip”; which ended recently.

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Amarnath cave is among the holiest shrines in Hinduism, located in South Kashmir Himalaya region of India. It is dedicated to Shiva. It is located at an altitude of 3,888 m (12,756 ft), about 141 km (88 mi) from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir and reached through Pahalgam town.

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Snowy mountains cover the Amarnath cave, except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims. Thousands of people walk through these challenging mountainous terrain to see an ice stalagmite formed inside the cave and to worship that ice stalagmite.

Freezing of water drops those fall from the roof of the cave on to the floor forms and grows up vertically from the cave floor to give it as a shape of “Shiva Linga

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In 2011 it received the highest recorded visitors as 634,000 persons. The number was 622,000 in 2012. In 2013, 37,000 devotees have visited Amarnath in first four days only. People allowed to visit this place in the months of May-August. The ice Shiva Linga forms between the months of May to August and then gradually melts away. The dates for the Amarnath Yatra this year were from 28 June 2013 to 21 August 2013. But the Ice Shiv Linga Melted two days earlier completely.

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It is described in the holy books that in this cave Lord Shiva explained about the divine life and eternity to his eternal consort Parvati.  Before starting his eternity secret of divine life, Lord Shiva described Parvati that who ever will listen this story will live eternally and never die. But Parvati fall asleep in between, and a husband wife pair of pigeons witnessed the whole secret of eternal life. It is considered that the pair of pigeons is still alive and if someone gets the chance of seeing them while his/her pilgrimage, it is a good sign.

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The estimated route of the Yatra takes about 5 days to reach the Amarnath cave. However, this is not the actual case, as the route is quite risky and depends a lot on the weather conditions which can be changed at any moment Rain is unpredictable and at such a high altitude, breathing problem is a matter of concern.

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As the yatra starts, the nature starts shaping itself into most beautiful form. The greenery surrounding the paths, ice covering the rocks of Himalaya; what else a nature lover can ask for.

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Amarnath Yatra Camps

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Helicopter facility available for those people who can’t walk to the top

the One way Helicopter Fare for Amarnath Yatra 2013

1) From Baltal to Panjtarni Rs 1500/-

2) From Pahalgam to PanjtarniRs 2400/-

And the pilgrims who wants to use this service have to register early.

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Amarnath Yatra Camp

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Amarnath pilgrims en route the holy shrine

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Route to the holy site

The paths are mostly slippery and muddy due to the melting of ice and unpredictability of seasonal rain.

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Amarnath pilgrims en route the holy shrine

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Amarnath pilgrims en route the holy shrine

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View from the top

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Pilgrims on their way to the cave at the top.

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Important Tips for you if you are planning for Amarnath Yatra:

  • Achieve physical fitness a month before the Yatra.
  • Begin deep breathing exercise as there is lack of oxygen at high altitudes. (Most people face this problem, so be careful)
  • Carry warm and comfortable clothes during the Yatra as temperatures can drop radically
  • Carry a raincoat and torch as it might rain or snow during the Yatra.
  • Keep some identification of yourself with you all the time.
  • Carry a water bottle and some dry fruits to snack on the journey.
  • Keep a moisturizer or a cold cream to protect your skin from dry conditions.
  • Always follow instructions given by the Yatra Administration.
  • Carry basic medication along with you.
  • Take regular breaks and try not to exert yourself too much during the climb.

Stay Safe and enjoy what nature offers you in whatever part you find your mother in your land.

Posted in: India, Travel