Amarnath Yatra is one of the holiest and popular pilgrimages in the Indian culture. The Amarnath cave is a shrine that is considered to be highly respected by the Hindus. According to Hindu Mythology, it is the place where Lord Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his wife Parvati. Every year, it is visited by lakhs of Hindu devotees on challenging hilly terrains in Jammu and Kashmir. The cave is situated in the midst of snowy mountains. The main purpose of the pilgrimage is to see the Lingam, an ice stalagmite representing Lord Shiva. Two other ice formations are also present that represent Parvati (Shiva’s Wife) and Ganesha (Shiva's son). For most time of the year, it remains covered with snow except for a short period of time in summer. If you are also planning to visit the holy shrine this year, then you should get your registration done now.
This year the Amarnath Yatra has been started from 25 June, 2012 and end on 02 August, 2012. The registration for the ‘Yatra’ is done on a ‘First Come, First Serve’ basis. The registrations can be done through registration forms available at 274 registration counters of JK Bank Branches, Yes Bank Branches, 4 district Co-operative banks and 100 post offices. The registration forms can be also downloaded from the official site of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board.
The registration forms along with the registration fees (around Rs 15 as per the 2011 rules) need to be submitted. After this, the yatris will be issued a Permit for the Yatra. Yatra Permit is the compulsory document for executing the yatra, so it must be protected until the end of the yatra. Without the permit, anyone will not be permitted to perform the Yatra. A free accidental insurance of around Rs 1 lakh will be provided to every Yatri. Before registering for a specified date and route, check the availability for that date. The selected date will be the date of starting of Yatra. There is a limit of up to 5 registrations per booking. Please fill in the complete details individually in the registration form. Make sure that the Billing details are provided for the person making the payment. Enter your correct and current Email ID to receive confirmation of the registration. Provide proper Nomination details of your nominee for payment of the insurance claim in case of an accidental death.
Please note down your Yatra transaction ID, Yatra route and Yatra date. These details may be required for Regeneration of Yatra Receipts if required. The Yatra Permits will be valid only if the Yatris will submit the Medical Certificates at the Baltal / Chandanwari Routes. The permits will be stamped by the Officials of Shrine Board. After this, the yatris will be allowed to proceed for the Yatra. The Medical Certificate form can also be downloaded from the official site.
You should start preparing for the Yatra at least a month prior to it. Start morning / evening walk of about 4 to 5 kms per day. To increase the oxygen efficiency of body, practice deep breathing exercises. In J&K, climate is unpredictable and changes suddenly from sunny weather to snow and rain. The temperature may also fall even up to -5 degree Celsius. So, do not forget to carry needful warm clothes, wind shield and proper shoes. Also put a monkey cap, gloves, trousers, jacket, woolen socks, raincoat, torch and stick. Keep some cold cream to protect skin from cold.
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