Saturday, August 29, 2009

TRAVEL GUIDE: Shree Amarnath Jee

Travel Guide: Shree Amarnath Yatra

  • There are two routes to reach Shree Amarnath Jee, one from Chandanwari (Pahalgaon) and the other from Baltal (Sonamarg).
  • I did the Baltal route, half by trekking then half route in Pony and returned by chopper so can guide better about that route. You can find the log HERE.


Chandanwari Route:

  • From Chandanwari it is a 3 day trek route which includes 2 night stays.
  • There is no chopper facility available from this side.
  • The route is most scenic when compared to Baltal route.


Baltal Route:

  • The holy Amarnath Cave is about 22 kilometers from Baltal base amp.
  • At base camp every facility is available including parking and locker facilities.
  • Belongings can be kept in various Shrine board permitted tent and they also provide accommodation options in the same tent.
  • Vehicles are not allowed after a certain point which is few hundred meters away from the parking lot.
  • You need to pass the security check before entering these areas except the parking area.
  • One can start early and can easily return same day but most people who trek prefer to stay there for a day.
  • It takes around 4-5 hours to trek and less than 3 hours if you take a pony.
  • It may take 1-2 hours for the darshan.
  • Chopper facility is also available. It costs rupees 3200 per person for one side only.
  • They don’t accept any cards.
  • The chopper ride takes only 4-5 minutes.
  • There are two service providers, one is Deccan and the other is Himalayan.
  • But as it is convenient many people are opting for the chopper ride which results in long waiting hours. So it is better to opt for early morning.
  • It is also advisable to book the tickets for both sides to avoid any inconvenience.
  • The whole route is scenic and you can enjoy the most in the trek route.
  • Do carry enough water.
  • On reaching there, there are many accommodation options in the tents.
  • They normally charge 100-150 bucks per night per person. And they also provide blankets to resist the low temperature.
  • Food is available free in the Bhandaras, they also provide warm water in the evening because temperature remains much low.
  • Toilet facility is available at a payment of 10 rupees.
  • And even hot water is available in morning for 10 bucks.
  • First aid facility is available at army camp and they are really helpful to any extent.


Do and Don’ts:

  • Do carry water with you.
  • Do drink lots of water at regular intervals to avoid AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).
  • Heavy woolen clothes are advisable if you are planning to stay there or else you can manage with light woolen clothes if opting for the chopper. But winter garments are must.
  • Don’t litter anywhere, because due to low temperature even biodegradable items take years for the degradation process.
  • No photography is allowed inside the cave.
  • Aerial photography is also not allowed from the chopper.

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