The legend behind Amarnath Shivling – Amarnath Yatra, is one of the toughest yet most beautiful journeys to any of the Hindu Shrines. Just like most of the religious places and symbols, there is a tale attached to it too. The Amarnath Shrine is famous for its “Shivalingam” which is a stalagmite formation, and its size varies as per the different phases of Moon. The Shivlingam or ‘the phallic’ symbol is worshipped for being the reason that creates life.
The legend behind Amarnath Shivling
The Amarnath Shrine is famous because it is said to be the place where Lord Shiva narrated the Amar Katha or The Story of Immortality and other secrets of the Universe to Goddess Parvati. After being insisted by Goddess to tell her the reason behind Lord Shiva’s beads of head and the reason for her being a mortal and Lord Shiva as an immortal, Lord Shiva finally decided to narrate her the Amar Katha or the story of Immortality and looked for a completely isolated place so that no other creature could hear the story and attain immortality.
He finally found out the Amarnath Cave and decided to prepare for the narration. While coming to the cave he left his bull Nandi at Pahalgam, dropped his snakes at the bank of the Lake Sheshnag, left his son Ganesha at Mahagunas Parvat , dropped the moon of his forehead at Chandanwari and left the five elements: Earth, water, air , sky, fire that create a life at Panjtarni. As a preventive measure, he created a Rudra named Kalagni and asked him to burn around the cave everything that could possibly be left, and used the deerskin to meditate upon. To cleanse them of anything that could still be left inside them and to take a metaphysical leap he also performed the Tandav.
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Even after all the precautions taken, a pigeon egg was left under the deerskin and even though it was said to be a non-living thing then, the two pigeons that grew out of that egg, are said to have attained immortality. Some pilgrims also claim to have seen that pigeon pair on their way to Amarnath.
There is said to be another set of two stalagmites formed in the cave, and they are supposed to be Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha.
The Amarnath Yatra is a beautiful journey that is worth all the hardships on the way, being in the lap of nature to reach the cave and witness the Shivlingam is itself an ecstatic experience to cherish.
Some things to do on your journey to Amarnath Yatra:
- Only go to the Yatra if you are prepared with appropriate physical fitness.
- Carry warm clothes and proper shoes. This is because the climate is unpredictable and changes abruptly from sunny to rainy and snowfalls. The temperature may even abruptly fall up to -5 degrees C. Also, don’t wear Saris or dresses that don’t suit well for the journey. Only wear something in which you can walk the long steep distance.
- Try carrying a slip on yourself that includes your name and the details of people traveling with you.
- Keep your cold cream with yourself to protect your skin from the cold winds.
- If you plan on packing some snacks, make sure you pack them in plastic covers to stay protected from the rains.
- Don’t exert yourself too much and take relaxations on steep inclinations.
- Follow instructions issued by Yatra Administration.
- Keep a pure mind and enchant “Om Namah Shivaya”.
- Keep your luggage with yourself at all times and carry medicines on your First Aid Kit.
Some things you must avoid during your journey to Amarnath Yatra:
- Avoid stops at places that mark with warning notices.
- Avoid any drugs or alcohols during the yatra.
- Children and aged persons should try not to perform this yatra, keeping in view the tough nature of the yatra.
- Avoid oily/greasy/ fried food during the yatra.
- Avoid the use of slippers because of the steep rises and falls on the route to the Holy Cave.
- Don’t attempt for any short cuts on the route as it is very dangerous.
Also read: Major Shiva Temples in India