The Holy month of Shravan is here, So I decided to tell you all a story. A Story of Lord Shiva and his journey to the Cave of Amarnath. Most of us know that the journey to the Amarnath cave is difficult one and holy too. But did you know how Lord Shiva reached the cave? Which Route he took? What all he left behind to reach the cave? How the places in the journey to Amarnath Cave got their names? If no, then here it is. The Story of Lord Shiva and his journey towards the Holy Cave.
The Cave of Amarnath is holiest and most sacred one amongst the Shiva devotees. Amarnath cave is situated in the mountains of Kashmir. Amarnath Yatra takes place every year in the month of July to August. This year the Yatra was commenced on 2nd of July,2015 and it will be continued till 29th of August,2015 which is on Rakshabandhan Day (Shravan Poornima). Amarnath Yatra has two routes one from Pahalgam and other one from Sonmarg Baltal. It is believed that Lord Shiva took the route of Pahalgam to reach the cave and so the way from Pahalgam is considered as Holy and devotees use this route for the Yatra.
The Shivling here is made up of Ice which is also considered as a symbol of Faith and Trust. The legendary importance of Amarnath’s cave is related to the secret of immortality told to Lord Shiva’s wife Parvati. When Lord Shiva was insisted by his wife to reveal the secret of immortality, he decided to proceed towards the cave. On his way to the cave he did a few things, which were great according to his devotees. Because of these few things, the entire way to the cave became blissful. There are 6 steps in total to reach the holy cave. And each step has its own importance and name. Let me take you through the virtual tour of Amarnath and tell you the story behind each step that Lord Shiva took before he reached the cave of Amarnath.
1 – Pahalgam:
96 kms away from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir is a place called Pahalgam. This is the place from where Lord Shiva started his Amarnath Journey. It is believed that Lord Shiva himself took the route of Pahalgam to reach the holy cave. On his journey to Amarnath Cave with Parvati, Lord Shiva left his vahana Nandi (Bull) here. And later this place came to be known as Pahalgam.
2 – Chandanbadi:
The next place that comes during Amarnath Yatra after Pahalgam is Chandanbadi. This place is situated 16 kms from Pahalgam. As we all know Lord Shiva is also known as Chandramauleshwar which means A God with Moon on his head. Lord Shiva did a very interesting thing here. He left the moon from his head in this place. And hence this place came to be known as Chandanbadi. Moon waited for Lord Shivas return from Amarnath cave here, which is also a reason behind the name of this place.
3 – Pissu Top:
After Chandanbadi comes Pissu Top. This place is famous for and important for the Darshan of Lord Amarnath. According to Puranas, there was a huge fight between Gods and Demons for the darshan of Amarnath and the Cave. With the help of Lord Shiva Demons were killed by the Gods and with the dead bodies of those demons the mountain was formed. This Peak or Mountain is now known as Pissu Top after that event.
4 – Seshnaag:
The next destination after Pissu Top is a lake called Sheshnaag. This lake is located 12 kms after starting point, which is Chandanbadi. It is believed that Lord Shiva had dropped the Snake of his neck in this lake and so the name of the lake from then is Sheshnaag. This beautiful and clear Blue water lake is a proof that this place is of Sheshnaag. It is also believed that devotees sometimes see the snake inside the lake and it disappears in just few seconds.
5 – Mahagunas Mountain:
After 4 to 5 kms from Sheshnaag Lake is a place called Mahagunas Mountain. It is believed that Lord Shiva left his son Lord Ganesha here and moved ahead in his journey to reach the cave. This place is one of the most blissful and beautiful place in the journey. It is located at an altitude of 14000 feet. The winters at Mahagunas Mountain are very beautiful and cold. Nature is at its best during winter and makes the place more attractive and beautiful.
6 – Panchtarni:
6 kms from Mahagunas Mountain is a place called Panchtarni. This place is located at an altitude of 12500 feet. It is believed that Lord Shiva sacrificed Panchabhut here. The Panchbhut includes Space, Water, Air, Fire & Earth. This place has a confluence of 5 rivers. According to Pranas, these 5 rivers flowing here come out of the Jatas or Tangled Hair of Lord Shiva.
7 – The Cave of Lord Amarnath:
The final destination of the Yatra is the Holy Cave of Lord Amarnath. In this cave Lord Shiva told the secret of immortality to Parvati. This holy cave is situated at an altitude of 13500 feet. The 3 kms path to the cave is covered with snow. Yatris or Devotees have to cross this Ice River and then they reach the holy cave. The Cave of Baba Amarnath is 100 feet tall and 150 feet wide. The Shivling here is made up of Ice and the height of the Shivling changes every year. The average size is about 10-12 feet. This year the Shivling was 20 feet, tallest in many years.
Om Namah Shivay
Have A Blessed Shravan