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Explore Amarnath Yatra 2018 – Journey from the starting

Treks - Shubham Varshney - August 1, 2018

amarnath yatra 2018This is a story of my recent adventure-trek-dream and love for Lord Shiva. This is a story of my recent excursion Amarnath Yatra 2018. This year this annual pilgrimage started from 28th of June to the will of Lord Shiva.

It was all started from the days back to my childhood. When I was a child, my father had the privilege to go there for the consecutive three years. From thence, it eventually became my dream to make a visit to that eternal cave at least for once. And this year I made it or I can say that Lord Shiva fulfilled my desire.

RishikeshThe good omens started coming in between my path from the very starting of this 2018. Many great and amazing things had done with me, but I would like to say that the world just conspired to make them true. As it is said that once you ought to do something with a strong will, it will become intentionally, come true.

Also read: places to visit in Rishikesh

This year I registered for this peaceful pilgrimage and 14 July was the date on which I have to appear at Baltal access gate. There are two routes through which one can make way to cave in which the most revered form of Lord Shiva appears. One is from Baltal and the second one is from Pahalgam. From Baltal, it is a nose-peeping steep trek of 14 km and from Pahalgam, it is of 40 kilometers but full of heavenly things.

Journey to the Amarnath cave

On the 12th of July in the evening, a fleet of four cars left my home city, including ours. Mine was the Mahindra SUV 500 in which we are five guys and a driver. We have covered a journey of 1060 kilometers from Atrauli, a small town in Uttar Pradesh to Baltal. We have passed through the Boulevards of Noida, Ghaziabad, Karnal, Ludhiana, Pathankot, and Srinagar.

amarnath cave

As I have discussed this Amarnath Yatra 2018 in my earlier posts best treks in India and Amarnath yatra latest news, this is the most sacred abode of Lord Shiva. This is the most dangerous trek in India, the changes of terror attacks and natural disasters give weightage to this.

En-route to Baltal, we had crossed the Chenani-Nashri Tunnel, Asia’s longest tunnel had driven along the upstream of Chenab River, and had the amazing experience of watering roads. Having sat in the car I told myself that “it is the journey that lends more meaning than the destination”. We had dinner in a roadside Dhaaba after crossing Kurukshetra.

Langars and Bhandaraas arranged for the Amarnath Yatra

There are thousand people present in this country of myths and believes, they all just wanted to put themselves in such kind of noble activities. We have seen that just after entering in Jammu and Kashmir, the langars and bhandaraas were organized for the yatris. So that they could get their meals easily and can share their religious merit.

Honestly, just after entering J &K, I haven’t had to pay for the meals. Whenever we felt hungry, we simply stop at some roadside Bhandaraas. Had whatever we wanted to eat or drink. Tea, water, milk, food, etc all were present there for us, we were treated as the most important persons on the Earth.

July 13th, 2018 – A fable of Amarnath Yatra

himalayan rangesAfter a continuous run of 10 hours, it was 3 AM clicking in the watch and we were entering the Northern-most Indian state, Jammu, and Kashmir. That was my second time in J & K. Just after entering this state, a sudden realization came that this state is worth having the title of Crown of India. The air filled with the lust of the green Himalayas is solely enough to make fall in love with it.

 

baltal

I pulled down the window mirror and taste the cool breeze of the air, which trying to tell in that I am near to my oasis. The day started began as it taken command over the night’s darkness. We had made our way to the Bhagwati Base Camp, from where the fleet of 12 cars released amid the high security of NSG commandos and BSF. Somewhere in heart, all the people present in that fleet had only one thing in mind that is a dream. A dream to visit or to make it to that eternal cave.

shubham varshneyFrom Bhagwati Nagar base camp to Baltal, the distance is 375 kilometers and believe me I have seen an NSG command at every 50 meters. The security was so tight that no attacker will dare to invade it. The Indian Armed forces just amazed me by its power. We have saluted to every possible commando and army man. And the most courteous thing is that they all have responded back, as their acknowledgment.

It was eleven in the morning had breakfast near Udhampur city, in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir and headed for the destination. In the middle of the journey, I found myself trapped in the beauty of the Himalayan Ranges. The greenery was endowed on the land, the mountains were laden with green trees and the small formation of clouds made the moment picture-perfect.

The petrichor was so elegant that it could fail each deo and the most calming sound was of those tiny droplets of rainwater which were touching our windshield. On this day, I realized that why this state is known as the heaven on the earth. Very far away from the hustle and bustle lives, this state kept the very mesmerizing vistas. The only thing that put me in vain was the holding of Pakistan’s flag in the hands of the natives.

We have crossed many cities which were all silent, I was just able to spot only the military men. Had a pass-through Dal Lake in Srinagar and marched towards Baltal. We stuck to the highway which was going to the place which is a dream of many, it was none other than, Leh and Ladakh. I have seen many riders who were riding their bikes as a pure traveler. And honestly, they filled me completely with the joy of traveling.

By the end of the day we have reached Baltal and in its parking, we have parked and gone through many security checks. After that, we looked for a perfect place for meal and rest. Sooner and later, we have reached to the Bhandara which was organized by the Committee of Amarnath Yatra Aligarh. We have halted there, had a leisure walk on the streets of Baltal camp and enjoyed the stars-lid sky.

The next day was the day which was assigned us to climb the mountains to reach that auspicious cave. That night was one of the longest nights of my life. I will share the experience of that most awaited day in my later post till then stay connect and stay tuned. And live life to its fullest.

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