“We worship Tryambka (Rudra), Who spread Fragrance and Increases Nourishment, May He release me, like the cucumber from its stem, From Mortal Life, But not from Immorality.” (Rig Veda Mandal VII Sukta 59 and Mantra 12).
Lord Shiva, one of the Gods of Holy Trinity, is well- known as Mahesh- the purifier and perpetuator of good and destroyer of evil. Lord Shiva is believed to be worshipped from the oldest times in ancient India by vedic myths and philosophies, later proven by astronomy. Today people worship Him all over the country and there are several pilgrimages performed by devotees in different regions and parts of India. The popular ones being- Kailash Mansarovar, Manimahesh and Amarnath among the others.
Amarnath Yatra is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage places in India. The holy cave of Amarnath is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva revealed the secrets of immortality to His wife Devi Parvati, centuries ago. To make sure that the story had no listeners, it is said that Lord Shiva, on the way to holy cave abandoned all his possessions one by one starting with “Nandi” (the bull He used to ride). After leaving Nandi at Pahalgam (originally called Bail gaon, Bail meaning bull), the Lord released moon that he carried in his hairs (jataon) at Chandanwari. Further on the banks of Sheshnag Lake he released the snakes that rounded his neck. His son, Lord Ganesha was left at Mahagunas parvat. Last, He decided to abandon the Five Elements- earth, water, fire, air and sky at Panchtarni. It is Panchtarni up to which the helicopter services operate today. Since the discovery of the holy Amarnath cave, devotees have been reaching the cave through Pahalgam. It is only some time back that the route of Baltal was created as an alternative shorter route to Amarnath.
It is said that a pair of pigeons who happened to listen to the story of immortality are still seen around the cave.