Amarnath is a popular cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the supreme. A very important pilgrim place for Hindus, it is believed to be some 5000 years old. The cave treasures an ice structure of Shiva linga, which is the main attraction here. Very tight on security level, many people make a visit to Amarnath on an annual basis.
“The Himalayan pilgrimages are the oldest organised travel system, evolved over time by Hindu sages and embodying the spirit of wander, adventure and spirituality” . Shiva, in the form of a lingam, is formed naturally of an ice – stalagmite One of the holy trinity, Shiva is a living god. The most ancient and sacred book of India, the Rig Veda evokes his presence in its hymns. Vedic myths, ritual and even astronomy testify to his existence from the dawn of time.
Shiva is known to have made his home in the Himalayas. He built no house nor shelter, not for himself or his bride. He was an ascetic, and yet married; he could be both for “he was the wild god sporting in the forest or taking his ease on a cloud.” Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in the Amarnathji cave. Unknown to them, a pair of mating pigeons eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the pigeons-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).