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Indian Festivals> Amarnath Yatra
| Amarnath Yatra
Each year in the month of Shravan, thousands of pilgrims make an ardous trek up to the Amarnath cave. They come to worship the sacred ice ‘lingam’- a phallic symbol of Lord Shiva, which is a natural phenomenon.
The cave is situated at a height of 3,888 m in the Himalayas. The Amarnath Yatra started in 1850. Devotees believe that one can achieve salvation by witnessing ‘Shiv Lingam.’ It was discovered by a Muslim Shepherd Buto Malik. According to the popular belief, Buto Malik was given a sack of coal by a Sadhu. But when he opened the sack at home, he found that it was full of gold. Overjoyed, he went back to thank the sadhu but found a cave on the spot where they met. Since then the cave has become an important pilgrimage centre.
It is said that Lord Shiva recounted the secret of creation to Parvati in this cave. It was overheard by a pair of doves who became immortal. Pilgrims still report seeing these doves at the cave.