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Amarnath Yatra UPSC NOTE

 

Amarnath Temple
  • Amarnath Temple is a Hindu shrine located in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • A cave situated at an altitude of 3,888 m (12,756 ft).

  • Reached through either Sonmarg or Pahalgam.

  • The shrine represents an important part of Hinduism.

  • The cave, located in Sind Valley, is surrounded by glaciers, snowy mountains and is covered with snow most of the year, except for a short period in the summer, when it is open to pilgrims.




  • The Amarnath cave, abode of the Mahamaya Shakti Peetha, is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas, temples on the Indian Subcontinent that commemorate the location of fallen body parts of the Hindu deity Sati.

  • The Shiva Lingam at the shrine is a Swayambhu lingam. The lingam is a natural stalagmite formation.

  • The stalagmite is formed due to the freezing of water drops that fall from the roof of the cave onto the floor, resulting in an upward growth of an ice formation.



  • The cave is made of limestone and gypsum.

  • Heat generated by tourists affects the size of the stalagmite.

  • Outside temperature changes also affect their size.

  • To minimize artificially induced temperature changes, helicopter trips and helipad sites are regulated.

  • The cave and the Shivling finds mention in Abu'l Fazl's 16th century work Ain-i-Akbari.


Amarnath Yatra

  • Pilgrimage opening timeframe: July-Aug during ice lingam formation.

  • Pilgrims visit the holy site during the 45-day season around the festival of Shravani Mela in July–August, coinciding with the Hindu holy month of Shraavana.

  • This year (2023) 62-day-long pilgrimage.

  • Pilgrims have to pre-register months in advance and are allotted quotas according to state.

  • States compromising a majority of the allotment include Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and West Bengal.



  • Presently, devotees travel on two main routes which are partially motorable and partially foot-track near to the holy cave: 

  • The shorter but steeper 13 km northern route from Baltal Base Camp.

  • The longer but easier and more popular-busier 43 km Pahalgam-Chandanwari basecamp route.

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  • The Baltal route is along the Amarnath valley and all along the route one can see the Amaravati river (a tributary of Chenab) which originates from the Amarnath Glacier.

  • Officially, the Yatra is organised by the government in collaboration with the Shree Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

  • Every year, thousands of central armed forces and state police personnel are deployed to provide security to pilgrims from potential terror threats.

  • The yatra is a way of earning revenue for the state government by imposing tax on pilgrims.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Amarnath Yatra UPSC NOTE
Amarnath Yatra UPSC NOTE
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