Shiva is known to have made his adobe in the Himalayas. Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Goddess Parvati the secret of creation in the Shri Amarnathji cave. Unknown to them, a pair of pigeons eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are liberated from rebirth, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Whatever the legends and the history of Shri Amarnathji's discovery, it is today a very important centre of pilgrimage and though the route is as difficult to negotiate as it is exciting, every year, thousands of devotees come to pay homage before Lord Shiva in one of his famous Himalayan abodes.
The trek to Shri Amarnathji, has the devout flock to this incredible shrine, where the image of Lord Shiva, in the form of a Lingam, is formed naturally of ice - stalagmite, and which waxes and wanes with the moon. By its side are, fascinatingly, two more ice - lingams, that of Goddess Parvati and of their son, Shri Ganesha.
Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder valley, Shri Amarnathji stands at 3,888 m and is 45 km from Pahalgam and 141 km from Srinagar. Though the original pilgrimage subscribes that the yatra be undertaken from Srinagar, the more common practice is to begin the journey from Pahalgam, and cover the distance to Shri Amarnathji and back in four or five days. Pahalgam is 96 km from Srinagar. The yatra is also now undertaken, on a shorter route, from Baltal (Sonamarg), which is 102 kms from Srinagar.
The Shrine is managed by Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), that was constituted by an Act of the State Legislature in 2000 with His Excellency the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir as its ex-officio Chairman. The Amarnathji Shrine Board is responsible for smooth and trouble free pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine.