the legends and the history of Amarnathji's discovery, it is today a very important
centre of pilgrimage and though the route is as difficult to negotiate as it
is exciting, every year, thousands of devotees come to pay homage before Shiva
in one of his famous Himalayan abodes.
Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder valley, Amarnathji stands
at 3,888 m and is 45 km from Pahalgam and 141 km from Srinagar. Though the original
pilgrimage subscribes that the yatra be undertaken from Srinagar, the more common
practice is to begin the journey from Pahalgam, and cover the distance to Amarnathji
and back in four or five days. Pahalgam is 96 km from Srinagar.
Since the base point for the pilgrim's trek is picturesque Pahalgam, a large
tented township springs up to accommodate the pilgrims. All intermediate halting
places have the same kind of facilities as are provided at Pahalgam, and a Yatra
Officer is appointed to conduct the pilgrimage.