Amarnath Yatra July 2016

#1 Sep 29th, 2016, 19:08
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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#1
Hi friends, hope you all are very well.
We, a group of four friends from Kolkata finally planned for Amarnath Yatra. As you may be aware that to carry Amarnath Yatra, one needs to be medically fit. Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) conducts controls and manages the Yatra. After seeing the notification, we approached to the designated hospitals and conducted our medical tests and got cleared. Then, we approached designated bank with medical certificates and got the Yatra permit as per our convenient date which was on 07/07/2016 i.e. on 07/07/2016, we have to reach Chandanwari gate which is base camp. This year, Yatra was started on 02/07/2016. We got the Yatra permit in the first week of March and waiting eagerly for 07/07/2016. At last, the date came and we started our journey on 06/07/2016.
Day1 (06/07/2016)
We took the flight from Kolkata, reached Delhi & then from Delhi to Srinagar. At Srinagar, we hire a vehicle & proceed for Pahalgam. Just before Pahalgam, army stopped our vehicle & told us to get off & stand in a queue for checking & baggage scanning. The queue was long. Anyway, within 15 minute, checking was over and we board the Sumo again & reached the main market of Pahalgam. The weather of Pahalgam was very pleasant. We searched and got a hotel which was very near to the Lidder River. It was almost 06:30 P.M. The hotel was so close to the Lidder River that we could hear the sound of flowing water. It was amazing.
We freshened up a little bit & went to a langar near to our hotel. We completed our dinner by 08:00 P.M. & went to bed by 09:00 P.M.
Day 2 (07/07/2016)
we woke up early, took bath & checked out of hotel at around 05:30 A.M. & proceed for Chandanwari. The distance between Pahalgam & Chandanwari is 16 km. We hired a Tata Sumo on sharing basis & reached Chandanwari within 35 to 40 minutes. Huge rush was there, queue was also long for entering the gate. We all purchased a wooden stick (lathi) with pointed end at the bottom @ Rs. 20/- each and stand in the queue. At the gate, army men checked our Yatra permit, baggage & then allow us to cross the gate. It took almost 20 minutes to cross the gate. We hire a labourer with pithoos who will carry our luggage up to Sheshnag @ Rs. 300/- each. The distance between Chandanwari & Amarnath holy cave is 34 km. Most of the pilgrims trekking/walking plan is: 1st day – Chandanwari to Sheshnag - 14 km (by walk),
2nd day – Sheshnag to Panchtarni – 14 km (by walk) & 3rd day – Panchtarni to holy cave – 6 km, so darshan will be in the early morning of the 3rd day. After the darshan, on the same day you can return back & reach Baltal base camp which is at a distance of 14 km from holy cave. So, within 3 days, darshan will complete. Our plan was also like that. So, we started to walk from Chandanwari at around 07:00 AM. Weather was excellent, wonderful beauty of nature was also inspiring us. We were walking slowly but steadily. It was an amazing experience. Excellent view of the mountains, lidder river. No pollution, no sound of vehicles, clean air, sunlight was very bright and clear, colour of sky was deep blue.
All were chanting “BOM BHOLE, BOM BHOLE, BOL BOM” Excellent atmosphere. After some time, we reached Pissu top which is at a height of 11000 feet. On the Pissu top, one bhandara was there & almost all types of food were available at free of cost. We took rest for 15 minutes and had some light foods.
Again, we started to walk. Enroute, we crossed ZoziBal, Naga Koti. Excellent views of ice capped mountains all around. Divine & serene beauty of nature, god was also calling!!!! What else do you want?
At around, 02:00 PM, we reached Sheshnag. We hired a tent there @ Rs. 300/- per head. We took lunch from a bhandara & rested for a while. In the evening, it was raining slowly and wind was also blowing. Temp. may be 10°C to 12°C. We carried adequate woolen clothes. So, no problem. We took our dinner at about 07:00 PM & went to bed. Still, it was raining but slowly. Night time, one of our friends fell sick & he had fever. He took some medicine.
To be contd.....
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#2 Sep 29th, 2016, 19:24
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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#2

Amarnath Yatra July 2016

Day 3 (08/07/2016)
We woke up early at Sheshnag. It was a beautiful morning. We witnessed some spectacular views of Sheshnag Lake, mountains, valleys, rivers. All were looking very beautiful, eye soothing, sacred & pure. We all were very tired due to yesterdays trek and so, we hired 5 pack ponies up to Sangam @ Rs. 7000/-. 4 ponies will carry each of us and 5th pony will carry our luggage. So, there was a change in our darshan plan. Our new plan was we will reach Sangam by 12:30 PM, take a bath there & make a darshan by 03:00 PM, return through Baltal route by evening 07:30 PM. So, we started our journey from Sheshnag at around 06:30 AM. It very cold. Temp. may be in the order of 10 – 12°C. Enroute, we crossed Warbal, Mahagunas pass, Pabibal, Panchtarni. After crossing Mahagunas pass, we stopped in a bhandara in Poshpatri & had some food. We reached Panchtarni at around 11:00 AM. We didn’t stop there, continued to move . The route from Panchtarni to Sangam is a bit narrow in some places, may be from 4 feet to 5 feet, looked very dangerous & pilgrims were coming and going in both ways. We reached Sangam at around 12:30 PM. Then, we kept our luggage in a shop, took a bath & proceed for holy cave for darshan. The distance from Sangam to holy cave is 3 KM. We walked through the distance. The opening of the cave is almost 50x50 feet size. We deposited our mobiles, cameras & other electronic gazettes in a shop near the staircase of the holy cave as those were not allowed to take inside the holy cave. At last, we made a beautiful darshan of “BABA BARFANI” by his grace only. “BABA BARFANI” is made up of ice. This time the height of “BABA BARFANI” was less. At the time of our darshan, height may be 3 feet approximately. We also saw two pigeons were flying near the holy cave. It’s amazing. Then, we took the Prasad & came back to Sangam at around 03:00 PM. Again, we hired 4 ponies @ Rs. 5500/- up to Baltal. We saw the whole route from Sangam to Baltal is steeper & narrower than the Chandanwari route. We reached Baltal at around 07:30 PM. From Baltal, we hire a Tata Sumo for Sonamarg @ Rs. 800/-. Our plan was we will fresh up & stay night at Baltal & next day morning i.e. on 09/07/2016, will proceed for Srinagar. Our return flight was on 11/07/2016 from Srinagar. So, these days, we will stay at Srinagar & roam here & there. At around, 09:00 P.M., we reached Sonamarg, checked in a hotel, freshened up. We all were very tired & hungry also. We took dinner & went to bed by 10:00 P.M.

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Please continue in the same thread. There is no need to create a new thread for continuing your report on Amarnath Yatra 2016. Thank you.
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#3 Sep 29th, 2016, 19:36
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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#3

Amarnath Yatra July 2016

Day 4 (09/07/2016)
Morning, we switched on the TV & got the news that Amarnath Yatra is postponed temporarily due to the disturbance caused on the encounter of Burhan Wani in Jammu & Kashmir. Local police also informed that no vehicle of any description is going to Srinagar or coming from Srinagar because of the stone pelting & other problems. They also told there is a chance that in the night time after 11:00 PM if situation is favourable then they allow the vehicles to go the Srinagar airport. But there is no chance to go the Jammu railway station because the distance is more & disturbance is much higher in that route. We all got tensed as well as scared a little bit. We are in a dilemma whether to move to Srinagar in the night time or not? Then the hotel manager’s friend told us no need to go to Srinagar since our flight is on 11/07/2016. He also told us that he is taking full responsibility to drop us at Srinagar airport on the next day @ Rs. 6000/-. We agreed & stayed back in hotel. Luckily, me & one of my friend carried BSNL postpaid SIM. This helped a lot right from the entering into Srinagar to this kind of situation. Our family members were worrying too much.
Day 5 (10/07/2016)
we again approach to the local police station & they informed that night time if situation improves they allow us to go the Srinagar. We packed our luggage, took dinner & were ready to move. As promised by hotel manager’s friend, vehicle was ready for us. Around night 11:15 PM, clearance message came & vehicles started to move with army convoy. More than hundreds of vehicles were in the queue started to move towards the Srinagar airport. In the front, one army truck, one army jeep, in the center one more army jeep & in the last one army truck and one army jeep with arms & ammunitions started to move with us. Situation was very critical. We all were tensed because anything can happen at any point of time. But by the grace of “BABA BARFANI”, nothing happened. We started from Sonamarg at around night 11:30 PM. On the way, we saw army jawans and Jammu Kashmir police were standing near the road at many places and guarding us. We also saw many stones were thrown on the road that means in the day time, stone pelting was there. Our vehicle passed through Dal Lake and we saw heaps of stones, pieces of bricks were lying on the road here and there. We entered Srinagar and airport was not very far. Suddenly, our car’s tyre is punctured. The driver didn’t have the lever to operate the jack. All the service centers, repair shops were closed in this disturbed situation. Our driver started to beg the lever from other vehicles passed. At last, he succeed. Tyre puncture repaired and we started to move again. When we reached Srinagar airport, it was at around 03:00 AM. At the airport, huge rush was there. As you may be aware that due to security reason, one prior checking will be there before one KM of the airport. We all were waiting there with thousands of other people. CISF personnel told that they will allow us all to cross the gate after 05:15 A.M.
Day 6 (11/06/2016)
Time passed, we took breakfast from the outside shop. We entered the first outside security gate at around 07:30 A.M. Our baggages were scanned. Then, we entered the main complex of Srinagar airport. Huge rush was there. Lots of people were waiting in the outside garden. Some were sleeping, some were taking rests. Our flight was after 12: 00 P.M. So, we located one area for sitting and took rest. Then, we boarded our flight, reached Delhi and from Delhi, we boarded our connecting flight for Kolkata. At last, by the grace of BABA AMARNATH, we reached Kolkata. A big relief was there.
So friends, that’s all for now.
Hope to see you all again.
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#4 Oct 13th, 2016, 12:40
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#4
Very good report. Reminded me of my yatra which I undertook in 1983. Had to walk from Pahalgam as there was no road to Chandanvari.
Lovely photos as well. Glad that you were able to reach airport for your flight.
#5 Oct 15th, 2016, 14:01
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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#5
Thanks for your appreciation. It was all due to the grace of "Lord Shiva, Mahadev - The god of the god"

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