Amarnath Cave
Amarnath Cave
Nature & Wildlife AreasCaverns & CavesReligious Sites
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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151 reviews
Very good

Dr Mohan Kumar H
Chandigarh, India254 contributions
Nov 2019
I had been here twice during the last five years and spent more than 6 weeks camping. there is a season during which you can visit

Plan your trek/visit in such a way that you reach either for the morning arthi or the evening maha mangalaarthi which takes around 6 pm.

Cleanliness is lacking in the area around, the travelers need to be more trained or fined when not adhering to cleanliness

Written October 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mumbai12 contributions
Jul 2012 • Family
This is for people looking for journey via helicopter. I booked a package of 3N/4D through an agent. Now most important point - if you think if you can take the helicopter to the cave and come back the same day, forget about it. Its not possible. Luckily i booked 3 nights package. Some agents sell u 2 nights / 3 days package. DO NOT BOTHER TAKING THIS as you wont come back the same day. You will spend one night on top either at Panjtarni or at the cave. So i will now explain my journey/experience:

- Flew to Srinagar and drove to Sonmarg straightway. Its only 120 kms but can take upto 4 to 5 hrs due to traffic. After this drive, we stayed at Hotel Snowland (nice place) for 1 night. Our helicopter company was SUMMIT Aviation from Baltal and time given was 9.00 am but everybody advised us to reach at 5 am at Baltal incase there is first come first serve. As Murphy's law would have it, they had stopped FCFS. So had to wait till 9 am. There was chaos at the helipad but i soon understood that the agents dupe the passengers by lying about the helicopter services. There is so much of overbooking that there is no way one can take off at the time mentioned on the ticket. Also, the ticket says reporting time and not departure time so the helicopter company is safe. Anyway, when i go in at 9 am, i find that they are still transporting people of 7 am so my turn was far far away. After 3 hrs finally, i get the boarding pass and my turn comes at 12.30 pm. Am relieved just to be out of there. The chopper ride is 4 mins and you reach Panjtarni. Here it is where it starts going further downhill. The distance from Panjtarni to cave is 7 kms but there is such a big HUMAN jam that it took us 5 hrs to reach the cave place. And ofcourse it had to rain when we reached there so we had to run for cover. Temp dropped from +15 to 0 in no time. I booked a tent for me and my parents. Had a cup of tea and then went for darshan. Now if you have money, pls take a PALKI as they will help you avoid all queues etc and you will straightway reach the main cave on top and finish darshan in 30 mins. We really had fantastic darshan but the struggle did not end there. By the time we were free from darshan, it was 7 pm and getting dark. So we decided that we will spend the night in the tent that we had taken to protect us from rain. Normally its Rs 200 to Rs 300 per person in the tent. I paid Rs 1600 for the whole tent and shared with a few needy people who were in need of a shelter. Now, there are bhandara's on top for food but because we were so tired we decided to just sleep. BAD IDEA! Dehydration kicked in so bad for all of us and by this time water (ORS mixed) was so cold that we could not even drink it. It was horribly cold the whole night and we ended up shivering the whole night even though there were blankets. The bathroom facilities are the worst, stinkiest ever but i guess nobody wants to talk about this as its a pilgrimage. We somehow believe that suffering on these pilgrimages makes us worthy of the blessings. If there is no pain, we wont gain the blessings. I do not subscribe to these opinions.

Anyway, so we spent the whole night by counting minutes and seconds, drained because of dehydration, altitude sickness etc. A word of caution do not get excited or walk fast on top. Oxygen is really scarce and your heart will start pounding like it wants to come out to get some oxygen. At 4 am, me and my parents somehow used the toilet and spent couple of more hours in the tent. At 6 am, we finally left for the helipad at Panjtarni (7 kms). This time since it was way back, it only took 2 hrs but the same issue at helipad - backlog.from preivous day. Waited for 4 hrs at the helipad and finally came down at 12.45 pm. Counted my blessings that me and my parents came back safe and sound albeit completely broken and tired from the whole experience.

This yatra is for people who have incredible faith in god as it tests every ounce of that faith. Throws challenges that you are not ready for and most importantly is physically grueling. So if you were to embark on this journey thinking helicopter is your easy way out then u r in for a big disappointment. This journey, on foot, on horse, on palki or on helicopter is going to test you. NO EASY WAY OUT.......NO SHORT CUTS!!!

A word for the organisers - i know you guys do not have it easy with all the snow around but seriously you guys can improve the toilet facilities there. Basic hygiene is taken for granted which is sad.

Wishing all the best to the pilgrims wanting to embark on this arduous journey. MAY GOD GIVE YOU THE STRENGTH TO FINISH THIS and bring you back in ONE PIECE.
Written July 14, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

New Delhi, India287 contributions
Jul 2012 • Friends
1.Taking the Pahalgaon route is more convenient in respect of the availability of hotels and other amenities like toilets,bathrooms,approachability and cleanliness.
2.Take the same route while coming back so that the luggage can be left safely in the hotel cloak room.
3.No need to carry too many eatables as per my experience as plenty of chai shops on the way and "Bhandaras"around the cave.
4.Take helicopter from Pahalgaon to Panchtarni and then going walking or by "palki" is the safest option.Ponywallas go very carelessly and least bothered about the safety of the yatri.Sometimes ponies also get slipped when it rains.
5.Palkis go till the last point possible.
6.BSNL connection works only intermittently.
7.Sufficient sanitation facilities are not available at Baltal even though there are umpteen camps here.
8.Carry as little stuff as possible during the yatra.
9.Weather is really unpredictable... sunny,cloudy, changes within minutes.So,be prepared.
10.Not a very suitable yatra for children,physically impaired or unhealthy people.

These are my personal views and please make prior bookings before leaving e.g.yatra registration,health certificate,helicopter &hotel bookings etc.
Written July 14, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mumbai, India24 contributions
Jun 2012 • Friends
1. Ensure that your Return Helicopter Ticket is to the same place e.g.
a. If you Fly from Baltal then you must return to Baltal
b. If you fly from Pahelgam then must return to Pahelgam
i. The reason is you cannot carry your luggage in a helicopter and you can keep your luggage at the base camp from you fly and on return you can collect it
c. In a small sack carry enough cloths and other items that I recommended below
2. Srinagar to Baltal is 5 hours drive in normal circumstances however it can take up to 12 or 15 or more hours (in my case it was 14 hours on 25th June 2012)
3. Best way is Sri Nagar – Pahelgam – Srinagar via road as it takes just 3 hours and you have nice hotels at Pahelgam for stay. Helicopter from Pahelgam-Panchtarani-Pahelgam
4. Normally upon payment the travel agents sends you the helicopter tickets, your camping accommodation and other accommodation details/vouchers etc or any other place based on your itinerary via email and you need to take the printouts of them.
5. Note that Baltal is very dirty place
6. These are not the real swiss tents that you see in photos.
7. Tents do not have attached toilet.
8. You need to use common toilets. (Carry enough toilet papers, soap napkins etc)
9. Common toilets are Indian style and not western style. Many people have difficulty in sitting in Indian style toilets due to physical limitations. (e.g. I myself can’t sit in Indian toilet)
10. You may get warm water bottle for toilet use at cost
11. Be prepared to stay at Panchtarani even if your schedule is to return via helicopter on a same day. Many a times due to weather return helicopter does not take off
12. Sometimes Panchtarani to Cave take much longer (normal course 1 to 2 hours one way) and you even may not be able to return from Cave to Panchtarani on same day.
13. So be prepared to stay at Panchatarni and /or Cave for one day
14. At Panchtarani you will get shared tents Rs.500/- per couple, Full Tent Rs.2500/- (Year 2012)
15. Panchtarani to Cave and return by Pony/Mules Rs. 1000/- (Year 2012)
a. Remember when you reach top then your Pony/Mules guy disappears. He takes Rs. 500 from you and disappears and on return another Pony/Mules guy takes ranging from Rs.900 to 1500 from you. This is their way of earning more money
16. “Palakhi” rates are Rs. 3500/- two way (Year 2012)
17. “Palakhi” goes up to the cave
18. Pony/Mules do not go up to the cave and you have to walk 2 to 3 KMs one way
19. People get lost/departed from each other at Baltal, Panchtarani and Cave
20. Use public announcement system to call your lost/departed people
21. Before you start the holi trek decide within your group the meeting point in case get lost/departed (e.g. at Baltal – announcement place, at Panchtarani – Camp director office or Bhandara seva Kendra etc). You will not find issue of getting lost from each other at Pahelgam as you reach the helipad directly from your hotel.
22. Each team member must carry at least Rs. 5000/- to Rs.7000/- in his/her purse in case get lost/departed
23. Each team member must carry all the printouts of the helicopter tickets, other accommodation vouchers in case get lost/departed
24. You must carry 2 pair of shoes, enough socks as your shoes get wet. It’s all muddy and lot of Pony/Mules potty on the trekking path.
25. Carry rain coat and winter cloths as the climate at Baltal, Panchtarani goes down in minus anytime. During my trip on 26th June 2012 I saw snow fall.
26. “Darshan” at cave is bare feet
27. Carry – Dry fruits, apples, chocolates, cheese cubes to get calories and fat to get energy.
28. Carry – your regular medicines plus pain killers, pain relief spray, anti allergic tablets, stomach upset tablets, Crocin, Glucon - D etc
29. Carry – Torch, candles
30. Carry – Enough winter clothes for extended day
31. In case of traffic jams if your driver tells you that your camp is just 2 KMs away do not trust and do not try to walk it out (in my case on 25th June 2012 I was told the same and in fact the camp was 25 KMs away and military guys stopped me at 2.00 AM and put me in another Govt. vehicle which helped me to reach the camp)
32. When I reached Baltal, I could not even find where my tent is even after multiple announcements on the public address system (loud speaker) and I had to hire tent at additional cost.
33. My return helicopter ticket was from Panchtarani to Pahelgam and I did not know what should I do with my luggage. I had to hire a taxi @ Rs 3000 and trust the taxi guy and put my luggage in taxi and asked him to it at Srinagar boat house. He was trustworthy and dropped it at my houseboat.
34. Mobile phones do not work at Baltal, Panchtarani, and Cave area. Sometimes only BSNL network works. Note that there are no Local/STD/ISD booths. Carry roaming enabled BSNL SIM cards from your hometown with you. Note you cannot buy SIM cards in Kashmir instantly as it takes 10 days to get your SIM card activated due to security reasons. I found that my Vodaphone was working when I reach Pehelgam.
35. At Panchtarani – Medical help is available
36. At Panchtarani – “Bhandara” that is food as a “Prasad” is available. (Do not waste it, you must finish it or else take the quantity that you can finish). These people take lot of pain to serve this so please respect it.
I will not recommend this trip to people who are not physically fit and just based on relations obtaining medical certificates from their family doctors.
For senior citizens “palakhi” is recommended
Kids to this trip are absolutely “NO NO” is my recommendations.
Note the upward and downward trek is absolutely dangerous, the trek path is absolutely narrow and is “one way” in most of the cases and the military guys manage the one way traffic.
The valley on the other side on the narrow path is thousands of meters deep and if fallen down then near and dear ones will not even get a body for cremation.
Disclaimer : The above is my own opinion and experience and tips and does not have any intention to hurt anyone’s feelings. You may need to carry some additional items based on your requirements and the above list is just a recommendation based on my experience.
Almighty God Bless You. Om Namhaa Shivay !!!
Written July 2, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vadodara in Gujarat1 contribution
Wednesday 21,2010
I like to go to Amarnath yatra . Its lacted in srinagar, india..
Whenever you go to that place go through a place known as baltal from where the amarnath yatra starts. Go by walking is better for travel by a narrow road which is mostly 40 - 50 km far. Please be carefull when walking because sometimes rain comes and there will a landslide happen any time. When you reached the aim . You will find many tents and food shops, bhandaras where people come from different states and give food to travellers for free of cost.
There you can get a tent at cost Rs. 300 to 700 per tent. There are medical facilities provided by Indian Army. There is a Helipad form you can go back to baltal by booking ticket from baltal itself. There is a tight security given by J & K Police force. So once again a happy journey to you all who are going to this beautiful place.
Thank you.
Written July 21, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jodhpur, India305 contributions
Jul 2017 • Solo
Some journeys are just journey but some are life changing experience and amarnath yatra is one of them.
My registration date was 10 July. I started my journey from my home town jodhpur on 6 July to jammu and reached Jammu on 7 July.My hotel (hotel raghunath) was pre booked online(goibibo).The hotel was in main market and in front of famous raghunathji temple and in main market. Auto charged 90 rs from station to hotel.
One thing i would like to mention that during dinner i opted for raghunath deluxe thaali and it was awesome.
My flight was booked from jammu to srinagar on 8 July and i was unaware that 8 July was Burhan wani death anniversary and due to this there was tension in srinagar and curfew like situation.By road jammu to srinagar yatra was cancelled. Hotel owner told me to cancel yatra and wait for next day but i took chance and reached srinagar. Flight took only 25 minute but via road journey time is approximately 12 hours.
On srinagar i asked from police as well as army personnel about current situation and they told me srinagar is safe for yatris.
On 8 July public transport was closed so i opted for shared vehicle to reach TRC bus stand and fare was 100 rs only(during normal
days you can take bus service from airport to dal gate area in 80 rs only).
In srinagar my hotel was pre booked online(via redbus).
On 9 July morning at 5.30 am i took shared cab from srinagar to anantnag(fare 80 rs) and then anantnag to pehelgaam(fare 80 rs). It took around 2.15 hours.
Each person and vehicle is thoroughly checked and scanned before entering nunvan base camp. After reaching base camp i ate some food.
On 9 July there were very few yatris so officer allowed us to proceed to chandanwari. For chandanwari i took shared cab(fare 100 rs). The distance of chandanwari from nunvan base camp is approximately 13 km.
After reaching chandanwari i came to knoe that i had to take permission because i wanted to start yatra a day before from registration date which was 10 July.
A very nice person who was ips officer allowed me to start my yatra.
Don't forget to buy stick and shoes cover before starting yatra.
Now my yatra was finally started and feeling was awesome and its like spirituality in the air one can feel.
Remember first 2-3 hours are crucial when you start yatra because it feels like we cant climb such height and lungs felt like they will explode any time. But slowly body will adapt that. Eat enough food for energy and took rest time to time. The first stop was pissu top and most difficult point for day one. I walked slowly and made three friends during way to pissutop.
The scenery is awesome and there was mixture of lush green view and some snow. After reaching pissu top we took food in langar and took rest for around 40 minutes.
Now our next point was sheshnag which was also base camp for day one.
On the way to sheshnag the temperature became low as compare to way to pissu top. On the way there are some snow caves(small). During evening the temperature started to fall.
Before reaching sheshnag base camp a very beautiful sheshnag lake can be seen.
The beauty of lake can't be described in words. Sheshnag lake with mountains in the the background was awesome.
After reaching sheshnag base camp we rented a tent for four persons(1300 rs).
On second day we started our yatra early in the morning around 6 am.
Our first stop point was ganesh top and it was looking like never ending climb but after reaching there feeling was awesome.
From ganesh top to poshpatri the way is easy to decend. In poshpatri we have seen largest langar during our amarnath yatra. Their menu contains atleast 60 items.
From poshpatri we started our journey to pantjarni which was second day base camp. The way from poshpatri to pantjarni is again difficult. Just before reaching pantjarni we saw flat ground with water and greenery. As we entered pantjarni base camp the heavy rain started to temperature suddenly changed and it become very cold.
In pantjarni we rented a tent at the price of 2000 rs because of crowd there. Helipad is also in pantjarni.
Now on third day yatra was delayed due to landslide in some area. Around 6 am we started our yatra. From pantjarni to holy cave distance is 6 km.
Out of 6 km half way we had to ascend and half way we had to descend. In the morning the the scenery was awesome because half of the mountain was covered with sun light and half was not.This scene is difficult to describe in words.
Last approximately 2 km path to holy cave was covered with snow so one has to walk carefully. And before crossing the bridge there is horse stop from where no horses are allowed and also many prasad shops are there. We stopped at prasad shop just before the bridge. They kept our baggage free of cost because we purchased prasad from there. They also provided bath facility at the charge of 50 rs for one hot water bucket.
After that we started the final phase of yatra to reach holy cave. There are many shops on the way from where you can buy photos, bracelet and many other things related to lord shiva.
Before reaching holy cave we crossed approximately 100-150 ladders and deposited our shoes on one shoe deposit facility.
When we entered the holy cave the feeling was divine and we forget all tiredness. Its like getting moksha when you entered holy cave and saw shivling.
The main shivling area was covered with jaali so had to watch from distance.
We also saw two pair of pigeons (normal grey pigeons, not white).
After darshan we spend few minutes there.Feeling can't be described in words after darshan of shivling.
After that we reached the shop where we deposited our baggage but suddenly heavy rain started to we had to halt at shop around one hour.
When rain stopped we started our journey to baltal base camp which was around 14 kilometre.
That day we had to face rain whole day so the baltal route was very muddy and slippery so we had to walk very slowly and carefully. Baltal route is very narrow and not full of scenery like pehelgaam route. After 10 hours walk we reached baltal base camp and rented a tent for four persons (charge 400 rs). Last 2 kilometre we covered using horses instead of walking due to rain and utter darkness on the way.
Next day early in the morning i started my journey to jammu alone because my three friends who met me during yatra wanted to go to srinagar but i was not ready because on 13 July there was also strike in srinagar.
I took shared cab(sumo) and the price was 1100 rs per person.
Cab took around 11 hours to reach jammu and during journey to Jammu cab crossed two tunnels one is jawahar tunnel(banihal tunnel) which is 2.9 km long and second is chenani nashri tunnel(patnitop tunnel) which is 9.28 km long and inaugurated on 2 april 2017 and it is the country first and world's sixth tunnel with a transverse ventilation system.
After reaching jammu luckily i got next day train ticket through current booking.
I took dormitory just outside the railway station(price 150 rs).
In the morning started my journey to my home town via train.
Amarnath ji yatra is like life changing experience because it test your stamina, willpower.
I have seen person without legs and he completed his yatra using his hands only.
This yatra taught that never give up in any condition and finally you will reach your destination.
Some divine energy in the environment always help you to complete yatra even if you feel like you can't walk single step.

Two things i didn't like during yatra-
One is local ponywalas push you intentionally and they try hard to irritate you and second many langar don't allow local ponywalas and local person to eat in langar, why?
Langar is for seva or to serve other and local persons are also human being so why they are treated differently.

SUGGESTION- if you want to enjoy nature beauty then always select pehelgaam route and do not opt for horse because they don't stop on the way so you will not get photography chance and you can't stop at any point even if you want to stop.
I hope this trip report will help some persons.
If you like it please do like it. Thanks

Written August 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gangasagar mela1 contribution
the pilgrimage tour to holy amarnath is really tough one but to make it little bit easier, I found the following -
1. while going , have the pahalgam route.
2. while returning take the baltaal route as it would be very easy to come down. this could be made in just 3 hours.
I sincerely hope, this would help the people planning to fgo to holy amarnath in future.
Written July 27, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tirunelveli, India1 contribution
Jul 2017 • Friends
We had an excellent darshan of Shri Amarnath Ji in the first week of July 2017, fulfillment of a long cherished dream.

Our experience
Day 1:
We flew from Delhi, reaching Srinagar around noon. Our Car was waiting and we immediately started for Sonamarg. There was no need to go inside Srinagar and waste valuable time. We wanted to reach Sonamarg well before Sunset.

Srinagar to Sonamarg is nearly 3 hours (+/-) on the highway to Leh (Ladakh). The route is picturesque, adjacent to the Indus (Sind) river for the most part with lofty mountains on the sides. Quite scenic actually.

We took a small detour on the way to have darshan of Mata Kheer Bhawani. This is a famous temple dating back several centuries. Swami Vivekananda came here and meditated here (Pl Web search on this if you need more information)

We stopped mid way for lunch and reached Sonamarg before 5 pm. Sonamarg is again picture post card town. We stayed at Hotel Sonamarg Glacier.

Day 2:
The Helipad at Neelgrath is less than 5 Km's from Sonamarg. We were on the 6 am flight next morning. It is a short, scenic flight, to Panchtarani less than 8 mins. Hotel had given us packed food/breakfast. We hired Palki (Dholi) for our trek. Army folks were helpful.

The 6 km to the cave takes nearly two hours by Palki because of narrow path shared by ponies, trekkers and other Palki's.

We reached the cave around 9 am. Excellent darshan. Lord Amarnath was in full height (first week of July) and we also had darshan of a smaller Shivling (within the Cave) symbolizing Mata Parvati. We also saw the two Piegeons perched on the top, really a miracle as 12,600 feet altitude is not common for Pigeons (Pl look up the Web if you need, for the significance of the two Pigeons at the Cave)

We returned back to Panchtarani by noon but had to wait nearly two hours for our Helicopter ride back to Neelgrath. We reached our Hotel, in time for a good lunch and rest. We stayed back in Sonamarg for the night.

Day 3:
We left for Srinagar in the morning. We went around Srinagar during the day, stayed the night in Srinagar at Hotel Asian Park, Srinagar.

Day 4:
We took the early morning flight back from Srinagar.

Travel help:
There are several travel agents and operators who facilitate. We took the help of Yatharth Travels, New Delhi and it worked well for us. Our contact was Mr. Mahesh Aryan was excellent, paying attention to all aspects of the Yatra. Our thanks to Mahesh and team. Getting us the early morning Helicopter flight was immensely helpful. Mr. Mahesh arranged a good Innova and a helpful driver - Riaz

Hotel Sonamarg Glacier, Sonamarg - We stayed here for 2 nights. Comfortable and neat. Good rating for - Service, Staff, Restaurant and also Wi-Fi. Hotel Manager (Jehangir) was a pleasant and helpful. There are several other hotels in Sonamarg, including some new ones coming up.

Hotel Asian Park, Srinagar - Good Hotel too. We stayed one night. Hot Water is not 24 Hours though.

Some notes and suggestions:

1. Plan the trip as meticulously as possible, but recognize there are so many uncertainties and unknowns, beyond our control.

2. You can either trek or take Helicopter from Pahalgam or Baltal. The Baltal route is shorter, Pahalgam route is traditional.

3. Even though the route is called 'Baltal route' you need to go to Baltal village only if you are trekking. For Helicopter - drive from Sonmarg drive to Neelgrath, take the helicopter to Panchtarani.

4. Before you travel, take with you - necessary medications, Sun screen lotion (SPF 30 or more), Sun glass, Cap or a Hat, layered clothing for cold protection, Light jacket for rain, Camera, good shoes, extra pair of socks, dry fruits, snack bars and some water, hand sanitizer etc.

5. Have print out of Helicopter tickets, Id proof, Medical fitness Certificate (from the Shrine Board approved Doctor) in the form/template provided by the Shrine Board

6. Reach Helipad early. Even at 5 am there was some chaos, though the Shrine Board staff try their best.

7. After arriving in Panchtarani, take a Pony or Palki if you plan to return to Sonmarg the same day. If you trek the 6 Km's to the Cave and back, it is highly unlikely you will get back to Panchtarani before 3 pm, the cut off for registering yourself for the return flight to Neelgrath (Sonmarg).

8. Negotiate price with Pony or Palki, the Army folks are helpful. If you are taking the Palki ensure that they will take you all the way to the Cave. If it is Pony, ask for you to be taken as close as possible (check with the Army folks as to how far they will allow the Pony to go on that day. Negotiate based on the input)

9. After darshan, return back to Panchtarani as soon as possible to get the Helicopter flight back for the same day.

10. We planned for two nights stay in Sonamarg, as a contingency if Helicopter did not fly on the first day, then we had a chance to fly and have darshan the next day.

11. Weather in higher altitudes change quickly. Helicopter flights need clear visibility and no cloud. Flights can get cancelled at short notice. We met devotees who were stuck overnight near the Cave or Panchtarani because they got late for the return flight or their flights were cancelled. Tent type accommodation is available in Panchtarani or near the Cave but it is tough to spend the night in high altitude; the place, rest rooms may not be as clean as you would prefer.

12. Army has taken extra ordinary steps for protection all along the way and also to provide help. Shrine Board and J&K also contribute to the efforts. Thanks to all !

The Yatra was open for 40 days only this year (2017) from June 29 - Aug 7.

If you are reading this and planning for Yatra in 2018, Best wishes !
Jai Shri Amarnath Ji !
Written August 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dinesh J
Doha, Qatar19 contributions
Jul 2019
Tour package starting from Srinagar Airport was arranged by Pooja, Yatharath Travels, Delhi.

Srinagar to Sonmarg
We arrived Srinagar on 3-Aug-19 by Vistra Airline at 14.00 hrs. Traveled directly to Sonmarg by Innova Car, its 95 kms. travel time approx. 3 hrs, checked-in at Hotel Snowland, Sonmarg.

Important Information:
1.Travelling by helicopter to Panjtarni/Holy Cave and thinking to return back to
Sonmarg on same day in not possible & feasible, because of un-predictable
weather, over booking of helicopter tickets, etc.
2.Book hotel at Sonmarg for 2 nights.
3.Mandatory Health fitness certificate from the authorised doctor in approved format
of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board.
4.Carry woollen clothing, raincoat, umbrella, medicine, pair of clothes etc.
5.Only BSNL pre-paid SIM card specially designed for Yatris works in Panjtarni /Holy
Cave and available only at BSNL counters.

Sonmarg to Neelgrath Helipad
On 4th Aug 2019 morning traveled to Neelgrath Helipad, its only 6 kms from Sonmarg. Our helicopter tickets were booked with Global Vectra (not recommended) and departure was mentioned at 9.00 AM, but in fact it’s the reporting time (not actual departure), we were allowed to enter the check-in area at 8.00 AM, then security check and check-in included weighing of individuals, the hall was it was fully crowded & chaos. Here they group the 6 passengers by total weight, which is allowed in a helicopter.

Suggestion: Book Himalaya Heli Services helicopter tickets with preferred early morning flight so you can try to return back on same day, if weather is OK. As they are well organised then Global Vectra, in both direction from Neelgrath and Panjtarni Helipads.

Neelgrath Helipad to Panjtarni Helipad
We got the boarding passes and our turn of departure was at 10.30 AM, helicopter carry only 6 passengers + 1 pilot, flight time is only 6 minutes to Panjtarni Helipad.
Suggestion: Each passenger can carry a single backpack or handy bag.

Panjtarni Helipad to Amarnath Holy Cave.
Its 6 kms from Panjtarni to Holy cave, as suggested by other yatris that walking on this route is very difficult, so we opted to travel on horse / pony. Due to very narrow steep track, shallow valley, too many travellers by walking, pony and Doli’s, it’s very difficult even riding on pony. We reached Amarnath base camp at 13.00 hrs. travel time 2.00 hrs. and pony are only allowed till here, kept our bag pack bags & Mobile phones at prasad sellers. Due to high altitude & oxygen deficiency at Amarnath, we hired Doli (it’s a chair tied on 2 bamboos and 4 persons carry it) its 1.5 kms., interim there is security check and again we need to board Doli, (took 25 minutes) finally dropped us at Nandi at 13.45 hrs, near holy cave. Dropped our shoes and walked only 25 steps of reach Holy Cave, it’s too crowded but still we had nice darshan of Ice Shiv ling (Barfile Baba) and started our return journey by Doli and Pony, reached Panjtarni at 17.00 hrs. Paid Pony/ Horse Rs.2000/person and to Doli Rs.1000/person two ways.

1.Take pony/horse or Doli from Panjtarni to Amarnath Base camp.
2.Due to high altitude & oxygen deficiency at Amarnath, hire Doli from Amarnath
base camp to Holy cave.
3.To avoid dust on the way to Amarnath Cave, must to carry face mask.
4.Carry enough money for expenses of Pony/Horse and Doli.

Panjtarni Helipad to Neelgrath Helipad.
For returning back to Neelgrath by helicopter there is no advance booking (first come first serve), due to backlog of returning passengers (last flight was at 19.00 hrs), we could not make up the return to Sonmarg on same day, had to stay back and spent a freezing overnight in Tent at Panjtarni (Rs. 600/person) with common wash rooms and Food at Langar’s was excellent and free. Next day early morning at 4.00 AM stood in que for Helicopter Security check & boarding pass (only 1 passenger is enough to get group boarding passes), at 5.15 AM Security Check and at 5.30 AM boarding pass counter opens. Luckily got boarding passes for 1st flight at 6.00 AM to Neelgrath helipad.

1.In case you are unbale to catch return helicopter and as a contingency plan
prepare to stay back at Panjtarni. Contact: M. Imran, Kashmir Tourister Tours &
Travels,, Mobile: 7006858109 / 9622497796 for Tents
at Panjtarni.
2.Carry torch light, rechargeable type ( DON’T carry disposable battery type, not allowed in helicopter).
3.Carry enough money for renting tent.

Wish you a happy and safe journey
Written August 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sasikumar Devabalan
Chennai (Madras), India139 contributions
Jul 2018 • Couples
Om Namah Shivaya !

Om Amareshwaraya Namah !!

Sarvam Shiva Mayam !!!

This is one of my life time achievement and memory that I have completed the Amarnathji yatra 2018 with my Wife safely, securely and successfully.

Actually in 2014, myself and my elder Son went to have Amarnathji darshan through Yathrath travels, they made their side well arrangements,
But we were unable to board the helicopter from Neelgarth due to very bad weather condition, we decided to go by walk from Baltal.
But Military personnels not allowed any yatirs to go due to land sliding in most part of the trekking path. Hence with sorrow and painful heart we returned to Chennai.

Again we tried to go Amarnathji yatra in 2016, but due to Militant leader assassination total Kashmir valley had unrest, tension and uncertainty, hence dropped.

This year [2018], I decided to go for Amarnathji darshan and asked my sons to accompany me,, but they refused due to their university exams,
Then my wife willingly accepted my proposal and informed that “I will take you to Kashmir and this time definitely you will have Amarnathji darshan”

Then I searched in google for good and efficient tour operator, finally I was ended with Yathrath again due to very good reviews about Mr. Mahesh Aryan and team.

I took the number from their website and whatsapp to Mr. Mahesh, he responded quickly, the same day we fixed our package and decided to go yatra on August 26.
I paid advance amount also.

But the next day while searching in internet, I came to understood that the Amarnathji’ s Ice lingam will start melt after the 3rd week of July and there will be no Icelingam If I had darshan on August 26. Hence, again I called Mr. Mahesh and informed to preponed my yatra dates, very gently he reciprocated and we finalized to have darshan on July 11th 2018. Accordingly I made flight ticket booking for myself and my wife.

We both went for some medical test and examination and get Compulsory Medical certificates. We had some shopping for raincoat, trekking shoes and other necessary items. All the things packed and get ready to board the flight, 2 days prior to our departure.

With excitement and mandatory darshan this time [in mind], we left our home on 10th July @ 5am.

Day-1 – July-10, 2018

We arrived Srinagar Airport @ 11:30 Hrs and called the Local Travelling Incharge of Yathrath Mr. Anas, he gave the driver number, while calling he was standing in front of us. Then we travelled to Sonmarg, on the way we witnessed CRPF, BSF and J&K Police were guarded on every 100 meters in Srinagar. We reached Hotel Snow Land, Sonmarg @ 15:00 hrs. One of the finest hotel in Sonmarg, food quality also very good and the room service boy, who attended us very cooperative and friendly.

Adjacent to Hotel backside, River Sindh flowing after that snow covered mountain ranges, very beautiful and picturesque place. We took some photos in the evening and went to sleep earlier.

Day-2 – July-11, 2018 – MOST AUSPICIOUS DAY IN MY LIFE:

Early morning we get up and ready to go Neelgarth by 5:30 hrs, driver came correct time and picked us, we were reserved in Global Vector Helicopter services by Yathrath and the boarding time is 09:30 Hrs. We reached their counter by 06:15 hrs, they advised to wait upto 7:00 Hrs. Inside the waiting room, we had tea and sandwich. At 08:00 Hrs our IDs were cross-checked and put their seal to enter the main waiting hall. After scanning our hand bags we were allowed inside. We went to Global office, they measured our weights and given boarding pass. My boarding group was 25 and my wife boarding group was 26.

I boarded the helicopter @ 8:05 hrs and reached Panchtarni within 8 minutes and waited for my wife, she reached @ 8:30 hrs. Then we both ascent towards Palki carrying area around 300 meters from Helipad. Where we were given 2 tickets for Palki each Rs.200 and informed to & fro from here to Holycave Rs.5000 for 60 kg person. They asked our weights we honestly informed 85 & 80 respectively, then they demanded each Rs.10000 after some bargain they accepted Rs.9000 provided they should take us inside the holy cave.

Our holy journey starts in palki, in most of the places the trekking paths are very narrow, palkis are moving to & fro, horse riders coming opposite and over taking, too much of horses and horse riders [i.e. Pony], it was one of the trilled journey. I get down from the palki and walked with them for around 1.5 kms due to the extreme steep path. Finally we reached Amarnathji Holy cave, we took some puja items and left our mobiles there.

Holy Cave:

There are around 50+ steps to go inside the Holy cave on the way there is Nandidev Statue covered with silver, I offered my prayer and acknowledgement to Nandhidev and starts claiming the steps, after some steps we have to remove our shoes, after removing shoes my feet are start paining due to extreme cold steps, one of the Palki person holding my hand and other one my wife’s hand, by the way we reached near to LORD AMARNATHJI ICELINGAM, all the pain and sentiment were gone, there Lord Shiva and myself only available like sensation, we offered LOTUS flower and Vilva leaves [which we took from our home and preserved it] and also had MAA PARVATI’s small Icelingam. Nothing in our mind to ask Lord Shiva or Maa Parvati, we are totally immersed in divine pleasure & mesmerized with their darshan & their blessings. Also that moment one of our life time prayers comes true this day and we also witnessed 2 pigeons couples inside the cave, it is also one of the sign of blessings. We took some Prasad from the pundits and got down.

After little break we descend to Panchtarni and reached there by 13:30 Hrs. We distributed the fruits, nuts & cheese to the Palki caaried 8 persons and given them 18000/- and 2000/- as bonus [it is very difficult to climb by carrying our body by ourselves, these peoples are carrying us in shoulders and ascending in mountain paths, very thankful] also 1000 for the 2 persons who accompanying us towards darshan.

With refreshed and fulfilled heart we reached Helipad and we got boarding pass in different groups, mine was 87 and my wife’s 86. That time [13:45 Hrs] 75th group boarded the helicopter. While we descending some drops of water falling due to the rain clouds, but now all the clouds gathered and the total area became very dark and Helicopter service stopped due to bad weather and non-visibility. Within 5 to 10 minutes rain slowly started, I asked my wife to go the waiting hall [here it is worth to mention that the waiting hall in Panchtarni is very small, it could not be accommodate the entire people who are waiting to board the Helicopter after darshan] my wife managed somehow and entered into the waiting hall with her luggage. I am unable to get into it, I feel shy to penetrate the people and go inside, within no time heavy rain started, I entered one of the toilet with my back pack and stood inside to cover the rain. That time I didn’t worry about the toilet’s bad smell, I worried about my wife. She came for me and showed me the Lord Amarnathji darshan, now it is my duty to take her home safely without any uncomfort or pain to her. Around 45 minutes I stood inside the toilet and watched the rain by opened door. At 14:30 hrs. rain completely stopped and Sun God started his Chariot, gradually very thing becomes normal again.

At 15:00 hrs Helicopter service started again, My wife boarding the Helicopter at 16:15 hrs and myself at 16:40 hrs. We reached our hotel safely by Lord Amarnathji grace. Due to High altitude sickness my wife started vomiting and headache, I gave her some tablets and soda. I only had dinner that night.

Day-3 – July-12, 2018

At 08:30 Hrs., we started our return journey to Srinagar, on the way I asked the driver to go to Kheer Bhawani Temple near Srinagar, the driver was reluctant to go there, I called Mr. Anas, he directed him to took us there. Kheer Bhawani temple is one of the Cool and beautiful temple & we had good darshan.

On the way to Srinagar I called Mr. Mahesh and asked him about Shikara ride, he readily accepted and informed to Mr. Anas, he in-turn informed to our driver. Then the driver took us for Shikara Ride in DAL LAKE [One of the biggest lake in Asia]. We had good one hour time in Shikara, we took some photos with Kashmiri dress [Boat Studio] and so many boat shops we witnessed and purchased some items.

We Checked-in in Hotel Asian Park and stayed that night there. Asian Park Hotel is a 3 star hotel with all necessary amenities.

Day-4 – July-13, 2018

At 8:00 hrs. we check-out and went to Srinagar Airport for our onward journey to Chennai, that day total Bandh in Srinagar.


1. Yathrath - Mr. Mahesh Aryan planned and executed our Amarnathji yatra in well-organized manner. My Grateful thanks for him and his team.
2. Mr. Anas – Local Travel Incharge is very co-operative and polite.
3. Mr. Aasik – Our driver with Swift desire is very nice and friendly man,
but he has to avoid smoking & speaking in mobile while driving and also should avoid rash driving.

As Swami Vivekananda told “AWAKE, ARISE AND STOP NOT TILL THE GOAL IS REACHED” I tried and tried, finally I got the darshan of my beloved father Lord Shiva as Amarnathji Icelingam.



Written August 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Amarnath Cave, Anantnag

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