Amarnath Dham, situated in the lap of Himalaya Mountain Range, is the most revered holy pilgrimage site among the Hindu devotees of Lord Shiva. Every year, in Shravan - the fifth month from the Hindu Solar Calendar - Shiva's well-known form of Shivalinga manifests in the form of natural ice stalagmite.
Due to its formation from natural snow, it is also called Swayambhu Himani Shivalinga and Baba Barfani. It is believed that those who visit Amarnath Shrine with a sincere heart get redeemed from the bondage of birth and death. The natural Shivalinga formation grows up to a height of 5 feet. As the moon waxes and wanes, so does the natural Shivalinga. The Sharavana's Puranmasi (full moon) is when the power manifests in full. Devotees throng in lakhs to get a glimpse of the holy divine.
The cosmic pillar, a natural formation from snow, is an abstract embodiment of Lord Shiva. It signifies infinity with no beginning or end. Shiva, the Destructor, the Lord of Death, holds the key to Immortality. Thus, Amarnath is the abode of the Immortal One. The Mortals, willingly & happily, trek the heights of this arduous journey located at an altitude of 13,000 feet. Such is the devotion and unflinching faith in the miraculous power of Shiva that despite the perilous Amarnath route and harsh conditions, devotees' high spirit never deter their determination.
Amarnath Yatra starts every year at the end of June or the first week of July and continues till August. This is the best time to visit Amarnath. The Tirtha (pilgrimage) begins with the Pahalgam in Kashmir. Chandanwari, at a distance of 16-km from Pahalgam, is the base camp for the annual pilgrimage. From thereon, the journey takes the shape of famous trails that is said to be walked upon by Lord Shiva himself before he arrived at the Amarnath Cave with Maa Parvati, his consort. Travel to Amarnath, for there is also a Shaktipeeth of the Goddess here. Out of the 51 Shakti Peethas, Mahamaya Shaktipeeth is located in this cave because the throat of Goddess Sati had fallen here.