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Image of the holy pindisAmarnath is one of the holy shrines of the Hindus. Inside the Amarnath Cave lies the ice Shiva Linga (phallus of the Hindu god Shiva) which is visited by the Hindu pilgrims during May to August. The peak rush is during the Shravani Mela in July. The cave with the 'ice-linga' in it was first discovered by a muslim shepherd some 150 years ago. The cave is located in Kashmir and can be accessed from Pahelgam as well as Bal-tal, both places being accessible from Srinagar, the capital town of Kashmir. The distance of the cave from Pahelgam is 36 km and from Bal-tal 16 km. The areas are under the control of the Indian Army and can be visited with their permission. The journey from Bal-tal/Pahelgam can be undertaken either by trekking or by horseback. The cylindrical ice formation resembling shiva-linga which waxes during May to August and gradually wanes thereafter is a stalactite.


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