Amarnath Yatra 2008 – Pilgrimage to the Natural Ice Shivling Cave Shrine

Amarnath Yatra 2008 to the famous cave shrine housing the unique holy Ice Shiva Lingam will begin on the Vrat Purnima day on June 18. Photos of the latest Amarnath ice Siva lingam formed during the 2007-2008 winter have been released by several news agencies. The Jammu and Kashmir governor also informed about the formation of the fully formed Shivlinga during a meeting with the members of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB).

Details about the Registration for the 2008 Yatra can be found here.

Amarnath Shivaling picture as found on News agency of Kashmir. The date in the photo indicates that it was take on 25th March 2008.

The Amarnath Cave shrine is noted for the formation of the natural ice Linga – formed by the dropping of ice lets from the rooftop of the vast cave. The annual pilgrimage attracts nearly 400,000 devotees from India and around the world.

The 2007 edition of the journey was marred midway into the pilgrimage due to the melting of the Shivalinga. First it was blamed on Global Warming but later news channels released videos of people visiting the cave shrine before the official commencement of the journey. The video showed people burning incense and agarbatis on the ice Shivlinga.

Hope the Government agencies and Amarnath Shrine board will be more careful and will not disappoint the thousands of devotees who undertake the arduous journey this year.

The cave shrine can be accessed from the traditional Pahalgam route and the Baltal route. The Baltal route is shorter but the climb is steep. The traditional Pahalgam route passes through Sheeshnag and Panchtarni – both are important mythological places.

The two-month long yatra ends on August 16th, 2008 – the Shravan Purnima day, which is also the Raksha Bandhan day.