Each year in the month of Shravan, thousands of pilgrims make an arduous 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 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.