One of the holiest pilgrimage for Hindus is the Amarnath Yatra. Undertaken by lakhs of devotees every year, it involves an arduous trek up the Himalayas, to the shrine of the creator, preserver, and destroyer of the world-Lord Shiva.
Amarnath Yatra reaches its peak in the months of July/August, which coincides with the Hindu month of Shravana. The month is considered to be the holiest by the Hindus, especially by the devotees of Lord Shiva. It is during this period that the iced stalagmite Shiva Lingam reaches its full height. It is considered to be a physical manifestation of Lord Shiva.
Amarnath Temple is located in Jammu and Kashmir and is mostly covered by snow all year round. The yatra is known to promote religious harmony in communities, especially along the trek. At the same time, it is also an easy target for militants. The pilgrims are prepared, every year, to face not only an ambush but also the wrath of mother nature, who can create havoc without any warning.
A trek that could vary from 36 to 48 km, usually takes 3-5 days to complete one way. The Amarnath Yatra 2019 will take place from July 1 till August 15.