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Historical and Religious Importance of Amarnath Shrine

By Sofia Jennie Subscribe to RSS | March 31st 2012 | Views:
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Amarnath Cave is believed to be an adobe of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati, and that’s why it has been thronged by thousands of pilgrims annually. There are many tales behind this holy adobe, which signify its historical and religious importance. Read on to know more about holy ‘Amarnath Yatra’ and ‘Amarnath Temple’.

Located at an altitude of over 13000 ft amidst snow-laden peaks of mighty Himalaya, the Amarnath Temple is a highly popular destination for Hindu pilgrims. During the warm months of July/August, when the snow melts down a little, thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit this holy shrine to pay homage the great deity ‘Shiva’ and taking ‘darshan’ of an iced Shiva-lingam that appears only once in a year in the ‘Paviter Gufa’ or the holy Cave of Amarnath. Despite of intemperate climatic conditions and hazardous mountainous path, every Hindu devotee wishes to be a part of ‘Amarnath Yatra’ that is held annually.

The pilgrimage to Amarnath has a very long history that has been remarked in ‘Rajtarangini’: a great historical scripture penned by a well-renowned Kashmiri Pandit ‘Kalhana’. Being situated in a narrow gorge at the further end of Lidder Valley, the outstanding Amarnath Temple is famous due to a giant glittering Shiva-lingam, which is formed by merging of large icicles. It’s said that the shape of Lingam fluctuates with the changing phases of moon. According to ancient Hindu myths, the Amarnath Cave is the place the lord Shiva narrated the secret of mortality to his consort ‘Parvati’.

The divine temple of Amarnath has a great religious importance, especially for Hindus living in Kashmir region. When the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb launched a mass conversion drive in his territories and coerced the Hindus to embrace Islam so as to turn the country into Dar-ul-Islam, many of Hindus made pilgrimage to Amarnath Cave to seek the intervention of Lord Shiva. Then, the lord appeared in dream of one devotee and told them to ask help from Guru Teg Bahadur Singh: the 9th Sikh Guru. Guru Teg Bahadur requested Aurangzeb to take his action back, but the cruel king tortured him and put him to behead. This cruel action of Aurangzeb led to a wave of popular anger that stemmed the tide of the conversion for the time being.

Another ancient epic states that the cave was discovered by a shepherd Buta Malik. According to the tale a saint gave Buta Malik a bag full of coal. But when But Malik opened the bag after reaching home, what he saw is that the bag is full of gold coins. He ran back to the saint but he found the saint disappeared and a cave and giant iced lingam at that very place. After that, the cave became a sacred place of pilgrimage.

Whatever is the reason behind its origin, the holy cave of Amarnath is one of the most sought after pilgrim destinations for Hindus, and the journey to this sacred adobe is really fruitful. It’s said that someone who complete the journey and catch glimpse of Shiva-lingum gets ‘Moksha’. Amarnath Yatra, which has been participated by thousands of pilgrims, is organized by Jammu & Kashmir Government. People who want to be the part of journey have to make Amarnath Yatra registration at any of authorized offices. However, some private agencies provide packages for Amarnath Yatra, which include all required services for a comfortable and stress-free journey. To buy a suitable Amarnath Yatra package, Internet is the most suitable option.

Sofia Jennie - About Author:
Writer of this article is associated with Hungry Bags, a renowned travel company that offer vacation packages like Amarnath Yatra package at attractive prices. The company offers pilgrims online Amarnath Yatra registration service too.

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