Religions and Religious Thoughts of India

||Hinduism|| ||Jainism|| ||Buddhism || ||Sikhism|| ||Islam|| ||Christianity|| ||Zoroastrianism|| ||Judaism || ||Bahai Faith|| ||Other Faiths|| ||Pilgrimages||
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Famous Religious Personalities||

Religious Pilgrimages of India

||Amarnath Yatra|| ||Haj|| ||Kalchakra|| ||Kumbh Mela|| ||Ayyappa Temple ||
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Pushkar Mela|| ||Urs of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti||

AMARNATH YATRA

 

The Religious Pilgrimage of Indian Hindus

The tradition of Amarnath Yatra dates back to ancient times. According to legend the cave is situated at the place where Lord Shiva had given amrit (nectar) to the gods of the Hindu pantheon who wished to attain immortality. It is believed that Lord Shiva adopted the shape of an ice-lingam which still exists in the cave. It is in this context that the place has been mentioned as Amrishwar by Kalhan, the famous Kashmiri poet-historian of yore in his Raj Tarangni.

The Yatra was abandoned for a long time due to devastating floods and other natural calamities in the valley. In those years it was impossible to even locate the sacred cave. A local Muslim family called Maliks residing in Mattan is said to have re-discovered it. They told the Pandits of Mattan about the cave and accompanied them to show it. The Yatra was thus revived. The successive generations of the Malik family of Mattan have since then been taking an active part in preparation of the Yatra and they get a share of the offerings at the cave.

The Cave of Amarnath is only about 50 kilometers from Pahalgam in south Kashmir but involves tough walking, trekking and pony-riding, Palanquins are also used in some cases while negotiating the path through tortuous mountains. From the base camp at Pahalgam which is at height of 9,000 feet above sea-level, pilgrims have to cross an altitude of 9,500 feet to reach Chandanwari, just 14 kilometers away from Pahalgam, and similar very difficult climbs to reach the next stops at Sheshnag, Panjtarniand and the Mahagunus Pass, located at 14,000 feet. In the last stage of the yatra, however, a pilgrim has to undergo a descent of about 1,000 feet to reach the Holy Cave located at a height of about 13,000 feet above sea level. The Kashmiri labourers, invariably all Muslims, help the pilgrims throughout. The pilgrims traverse the route chanting "Har Har Mahadev" and "Amarnath Swami Ki Jai". The Muslim helpers join them by saying "Ya Peer Dastgeer". The Yatra culminates on the full moon day of August.

||Hinduism|| ||Jainism|| ||Buddhism || ||Sikhism|| ||Islam|| ||Christianity|| ||Zoroastrianism|| ||Judaism || ||Bahai Faith|| ||Other Faiths|| ||Pilgrimages||
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Famous Religious Personalities||


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