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amarnath yatra overview

#1 of 1 Things To Do in Amarnath
amarnath yatra
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Baltal Amarnath Trek, Forest Block, Anantnag, Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir 192230, India
+91-194-2501679 +91-9469722210
entry fee
per person for helicopter services (Neelgrath – Panchtarni - Neelgrath) (to & fro)
per person for helicopter services (Neelgrath -Panchtarni) (one way)
per person for helicopter services (Panchtarni-Neelgrath) (one way)
All days of the week
4:00 AM - 11:00 PM
visit duration
Around 7 days

about amarnath yatra

Situated east of Srinagar in Kashmir, the Amarnath cave is home to a Shiva Linga made of ice, known to change its size every season. This Linga is said to reach its maximum size on the full moon day of the Shravan month of the Hindu calendar, from July to August. Since the cave is nestled in the Himalayas and it witnesses snowfall for most part of the year, the cave is open to tourists and pilgrims only during the months of July and August.

The yatra to Amarnath takes place every year, beginning from 28th June to 10th August in 2014. This much revered shrine requires a strenuous trek from either Baltal or Chandanwari (16 km away from Pahalgam). For the trek, you will first have to register with the official Amarnath Yatra Registration Counters. Registration opens on 1st March 2014. This year onwards, you need a compulsory Health Certificate from appointed doctors which declares you physically fit for the Yatra. Click here for the list of Doctors.

The phase 1 of your journey to Amarnath requires reaching the base camp to start the trek. The nearest airport is Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir. Pahalgam is 94 km from Srinagar, while Baltal is 59 km from here. The nearest railhead is Jammu, 315 km from Pahalgam and around 400 km from Baltal. Srinagar and Jammu are also connected by road to nearby cities via buses, taxis etc.

Option 1: From Pahalgam to Amarnath cave

After reaching Pahalgam, rest for the night to start afresh the next day. The base camp is at Chandanwari, 16 km from Pahalgam, from where the trek starts. This 5 day (34 km) trek to Amarnath is via Pissu Top, Sheshnag and Panchtarni. During trek, you have to camp for two nights, first at Sheshnag (Wawjan) and then at Panchtarni, before you proceed to see the cave at Amarnath. The trek is quite steep and follows the banks of a stream near Sheshnag. The  route to the cave is picturesque especially at the Sheshnag halt which overlooks the Sheshnag lake.

If you want to cut short the trek and complete it in a day in place of 5, then take a helicopter from Pahalgam to Panjtarni. If you plan to go by helicopter, it is advisable to get your choppers booked in advance as they tend to sell out pretty quickly. Here is who you will need to contact for the same:

Himalayan Heliservices Pvt Ltd

Address: 104, 7 LSC, Madangir, New Delhi

Telephone: +91-11-41649358/59/60


Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd

Address: Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi

Telephone: +91-99686-86811/22


The cost for a round trip by Helicopter is INR 3900 per adult, children below 13 years or people above 75 years of age and women with 6 weeks pregnancy  are not allowed to take the Amarnath Yatra 2014.

Option 2: From Baltal to Amarnath Cave

The trek from Baltal to Amarnath is 14 km. Baltal can be reached from Jammu via Udhampur, Patnitop, Kud, Ramban, Banihal, Kazi Gund, Anantnag and Srinagar, through buses and taxis available at the Tourist Reception Centre, J & K or at the bus stand. Another way to reach is to come by road from Srinagar (60 km away).

The route from Baltal to the cave can be covered on foot/ponies via Domail, Barari Marg and Sangam. Dandies are also available for handicapped and old aged pilgrims. The route is steeper and narrower as compared to the Pahalgam-Amarnath route but pilgrims can complete the whole trek in almost a day and return back to Baltal base camp. This route is popular given the shorter distance. To know about the rates of Pony, Dandi and Tent accommodation etc at Baltal, click here.

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