One of the holiest Hindu shrines in India is Amarnath. This beautiful hill station is dedicated to Lord Shiva , his wife Parvati and their son Lord Ganesha .
During the month of 'Sawan', an ice stalagmite forms a natural Shiv Ling . This lingam is believed to increase and diminish according to the shape of the moon. There are two smaller lingams by its side dedicated to Parvati and Lord Ganesha.
The Amarnath Yatra is organised every year by the Jammu and Kashmir Government during the month of "sharavan" i.e. in July - August. Chandanwari is the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra and the destination is Amaranth Cave , which is supposed to the abode of Lord Shiva. One can reach Chandanwari by car or by bus but from Chandanwari onwards the track becomes much steeper and can be accessed only on foot or by pony. Located 11-km from Chandanwari is the lake of Sheshnag , after which 13-km away is the last stop, Panchtarni . The Amarnath cave is 6-km away from there. Even if one's visit to Pahalgam is not during the period of the Yatra, one can still take a pony ride up to Sheshnag Lake and can return back by late night.
For the "Yatra" to Amarnath one has to trek a height of about 14,500 ft. Surrounded by beautiful valleys and mountains, one can enjoy the serenity of this hill station. It is a journey that will rediscover the nature and its marvels.
For performing this Yatra, one is required to get registered. Jammu & Kashmir Government does the registration and makes extensive arrangements every year for the successful completion of the pilgrimage. It also registers the pony owners and Dandi Walas . It also provides for camps en route, and ensures safe, comfortable and speedy progress of the travelers.