Amarnath Yatra: The climb of Faith and Ecstasy {Part-2}

Tripoto
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Chandanwari
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“Agar Fridaus Bar Rue Zamin Asto,
Hami Asto, Hami Asto, Hami Asto.”
(If there is Heaven anywhere on the earth, that is here, that is here, that is here.)

When we reached at Pahalgam Firstly a big security check up camp was working round the clock. After going through many security check-up we were allowed to enter into the camp. We booked one tent of mat &dari. Keeping our sacks in the tent we went to visit to the bank of Lidder river flowing a few yards from the camp.

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Lidder River
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A night in Tent at Pahalgam.
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What we have dreamt about beauty of Kashmir we were now enjoying with our naked eyes. Kashmir, known as the paradise on the earth is the most picturesque place in the world.

A Pharsi poet has said for Kashmir:

“Agar Fridaus Bar Rue Zamin Asto,

Hami Asto, Hami Asto, Hami Asto.”

(If there is Heaven anywhere on the earth, that is here, that is here, that is here.)

Photo of Amarnath Yatra: The climb of Faith and Ecstasy      {Part-2} 6/32 by Mukul Goyal

Pahalgam to Sheshnag : Yatra Day 1

We got up early in the morning, we became ready for upward journey by 7.00 am and came to exit gate, where more than 3 to 4 thousand people were standing & waiting for opening the exit gate. Then we took a Tavera car and one empty mini bus on rent and we all boarded for Chandanbari @Rs. 65/- per head for 16 km.
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Waiting for opening gates.
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Scenery between Pahalgam & Chandanwari

Chandanbari is a small picturesque valley at 2,900M/6,500 feet above MSL. It is situated at the confluence of Sheshnag stream and the stream of Astanmarg. Here we had to go through security check up. We got lunch at a lungar and started our onwards trekking for Sheshnag.

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Scenery b/w Chandanwari & Pissutop
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#Water_Under _Snow

@ Pissutop –The route from Chandanbari is very steep climb upto Pissu Top. It took more than one and half hour to reach the Pissu Top. Still we had to cover 9 km to Sheshnag. Distance has no meaning in mountains; Though thousands pilgrims were going up, a few were returning also after holy darshan. Many pilgrims were trekking, some were going on ponies and some old and handicapped on dandies.

PICS FROM PISSUTOP TO SHESNAG

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Very Steep Climb upto Pissu Top
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Rest at some stops
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Sceneries
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Reached at Pissu Top
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Beautiful creativity by Army
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At pissutop there are lot of photographic views
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Darshan of very heavy TRISHUL
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Lot's of Masti, Lot's of Fun
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Danced at different stops and Bhandaras
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simultaneously changing weather conditions
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Scenic views
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Beautiful waterfalls
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Sheshnag Lake
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Photography mood
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The most beautiful moment of yatra

We the fastest members reached Sheshnag camp by 5.30 pm and made announcement to call our team members. Vikram appeared and took us to our tent. They had booked a ten men tent for Rs. 1800/-. We were so much tired & exhausted that we took dinner and entered into sleeping bags.

Sheshnag to Panchtarani: Yatra Day 2

We all woke up by 5.00 am.
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Inside tent at 6 a.m.

After getting fresh we saw the beauty of Sheshnag Lake and watched Sunrise over the spectacular snow capped mountains.

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Sheshnag Sunrise

It is an amazing lake situated at an altitude of about 3,650 m. Water was sky blue but cold and clean. Sheshnag is the windiest place in the route. There are myths of love and revenge associated with Sheshnag. The lake is the source of river lidder which is tributary of Jhelum. Mountain peaks were covered with beautiful cubs and reflects in the lake.

Ganesh Top – We all became ready by 7.00 am and started our onward journey. A few yards ahead we found a Haryana based lungar where we took breakfast according to our choice.

The route to Mahagunush is full of rivulets, waterfalls & spring. Two Shiv-Bhakts were going “Bhu-Pari” prostrating (Laying flat) at each stroke. Their devotion was beyond our imagination. We paid them respect and gave them sufficient dry fruits to take as breakfast. They became very happy though they seem from well-to-do family. We reached Mahagunush by 10.00 am.

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Panchtarani – The route from Poshpatri to Panchtarani was slightly downwards. When we reached near Panchtarani, there was a flat river bed like a vast meadow. The camping ground was at the foot of the mount Bhairav where five streams converge. These five streams originated from lord Shiva’s dreadlocks (Jata).

While going to our camps we saw a beautiful creature far from us. It is mountain Squirrel.It was quite bigger than normal squirrels.

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Mountain Squirrel

Panchtarani to Holy Cave: Yatra Day 3

We got up early in morning. Though weather was very much cold as comparison to Mumbai and Delhi. But we had no time to enjoy the coolness and stillness of Panchtarani. In very short period all members got freshed.
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There was a pass in the route to Holy cave. Tiredness and exhaustion made us disheartened to cross the pass, but our lovely lord in the Holy Cave was calling us. After pass there came a junction (known as Sangam), where Baltal & Panchtarani route met.

Where we hired a tent and took bath on ice it was very dangerous moment for us. we are bathing on ice it was such an excellent experience in my life.

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At sangam

When we reached within 2 km of the abode of Bhole Nath the beautiful natural scene came to our view. Time was 8 a.m. and day was Wednesday. Environment was dust free and Sunshine was brighter .Snow all around was shining and sparkling in Sunlight. When holy cave remained 1.5KM away we found some hue and cry of ponywalas and yatries. It was place of pony stand. No any pony was allowed beyond it.

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Taking bath in open sky & cool wind we become ready for cave. We bought prasadam from Zaheer’s shop. Daddy had already brought Belpatra, Bhang & Dhatura from Bokaro, as sent by my mother. Pouring of water & milk is not allowed on “Baba Barfani”. Lighting of agarbatti, dhoop & kapoor is also not allowed in the cave to protect “Ice-Lingam” from melting.

When we walked 1 km ahead we had to form a queue but it was a security check post.We handed over our all mobiles & cameras to him because these are not allowed in the cave.

The Holy Cave is at upper place than surrounding area. We had to climb a long series of stairs. Photography is strictly prohibited in the cave. A 12 ft. high Shiv-Lingam was in so handsome shape that all pilgrims enchanted to have a look and began shouting “Jai Bholenath”. There was two other small flat ice structures near the Shiva-Lingam; one symbolizing goddess Parbati & other for lord Ganesha. Salutation to this peerless lord!

Two white pigeons were seen in the cave. It is believed that they are immortal. Later on 3-4 more pigeons of grey and black colors were also seen. We offered puja-items brought from home and market on the newly made stone Shiv-Lingam and sat down in the corner of the cave for Dhyan & Jap. With words one can at times understand but only in silence one goes near Divine. There is no better ways to show one’s gratefulness to the Divine than to be quietly happy.

There is a small kund in the cave in which holy water (coming from mountains) accumulates and people take it to their homes. Kunal & Mangesh also collected some water in small plastic bottle which became empty when we reached Jammu. We spent nearly 45 minutes in the cave and take permission from Bholenath for our return journey. We prayed HIM to call us again & again.

All is well that end well. The entire communication gap happened due to not working of pre-paid mobile phones in J&K state. BSNL was providing their sim card to Amarnath Yatries for 15 days only but we could not take it due to our hasty movement from Jammu onwards.

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