Amarnath cave is a Hindu monument located in Jammu and Kashmir, India. The cave is located at a height of 12,756 ft. The shrine forms a big part of Hinduism, and is taken into account to be one among the holiest shrines in Hinduism. The cave is bounded by snowy mountains. The cave itself is covered with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for visitors. Hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees make an annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave across challenging mountainous landscape. The registration for the Amarnath Yatra 2020 has been announced.
The Amarnath temple is one among 18 Maha Shakti Peethas, and highly admired temples throughout South Asia that memorialize the situation of fallen body parts of the Hindu deity Sati. Inside the Amarnath cave, a stalagmite is shaped due to freezing of water drops that fall from the roof of the cave on to the floor and rises up vertically from the cave floor. Hindus considered it as a Shiva Linga. It is stated in the ancient Hindu texts of Mahabharata and Puranas that Lingam represents Lord Shiva. According to Hindu sacred beliefs, this is the place where Shiva clarified the secret of life and perpetuity to his divine consort, Parvati.
Points to Ponder on Amarnath Yatra 2020 :
1. Devotees travel on foot, either from Srinagar or from Pahalgam.
2. The expedition from Pahalgam takes about five days.
3. The State Road Transport Corporation and Private Transport Operators deliver the regular services from Jammu to Pahalgam and Baltal. Also privately hired taxis are accessible from Jammu & Kashmir.
4. The shorter northern route is just about 16 km long, but has a very steep incline and is quite difficult to climb. It starts from Baltal and passes through Domel, Barari, and Sangam to succeed in the cave.
5. En route the cave, various non-governmental organisations have set up food supply and resting tents called pandals which are obtainable for free to the pilgrims.
6. Near the shrine, hundreds of tents which are erected by locals can be rented for a night’s stay.
7. Helicopter services from base camp to Panjtarni (6 km from the cave) are also available from several private operators.
8. Every year, thousands of central armed forces and state police personnel are deployed to provide security to pilgrims from potential terror threats.
9. Of the 622,000 yatra pilgrims in 2012, 130 died during the yatra.
10. The major cause was attributed to people who were not physically fit for the strenuous climb, high altitudes, and adverse weather undertook the yatra. Some also died in road accidents before going the base camp from where the yatra starts.
11. The decision was taken during the 37th meeting of the board held at Raj Bhawan here and presided over by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu who is also the chairman of the SASB. The registration for the yatra will commence from April 1.
12. The 42-day-long annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir Himalayas will start on June 23, the shrine board said on Friday (21.02.20).
13. This year’s pilgrimage will be longer by two days against last year’s 40 days.
14. The Jammu and Kashmir administration on August 2 last year had issued a security advisory requesting Amarnath pilgrims and tourists to leave Kashmir as soon as possible, mentioning terror threat in the Valley.
15. The board decided that a 42-day yatra would commence on 23rd June, 2020, an auspicious day of Jagan Nath Rath Yatra as per Hindu calendar, and complete on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on 3rd August, 2020.
16. In view of the success of the pilot project of online registration of limited number of yatris in 2019, the board decided to increase the quota of online registration.
17. No person below the age of 13 years and above the age of 75 years shall be allowable to undertake the pilgrimage.
18. Instructions were also issued to ensure that the yatra routes and camps persist plastic-free.